Over the past couple of months I’ve been rather distracted by some family health issues. Of most concern has been my 92-year-old mother whose level of mobility has decreased considerably in recent months and has caused her to become very tired just looking after herself.
She has now moved into a rest home where she is being pampered – breakfast in bed, cups of tea brought to her etc – so she can just rest. She’s loving it and she deserves it.
Mum has had home help and meals delivered for a number of years and recently I was witness to assessment by a social worker about the level of care Mum needed. I was intrigued by the paper work involved.
There was a 10 page “User manual,” a 4 page “User Services Agreement” that included a full page of statements that Mum had to sign to say she understood them and all the information she had been given. Then there were two other pieces of paper with lots of information in such small print that I couldn’t easily read it, let alone my mother!
The social worker was very proud of the fact that she took two hours (instead of the obligatory one hour) to go through all this with her “clients”. However at the end Mum just signed so we could have some peace. Too much information and way too tiring!!
Mum also had another assessment around the same time. Interestingly neither of the people making the assessment picked up that Mum was exhausted and needed rest home care as recommended by her doctor. Yet within a week of these visits, she had collapsed and moved into a rest home.
The moral of this story is that assessments and report writing need to be more than just ticking boxes and spending a certain amount of time on them.
They need to be based on expert evidence, keen observation and getting into the underlying purpose of the assessment, preferably by people who have a good understanding of the situation. In other words, don’t just take what is being said at face value, probe to get behind the words and find out what is really going on.
And don’t keep a record just for the sake of it. I can’t imagine what value there is in the reports on my mother when they didn’t even scratch the surface of the problems she was having.
This applies to any business issue. If you have a problem in our business that you don’t understand, talk to people who have in-depth knowledge of the issue; keep asking questions till you are satisfied that you know how to resolve it; don’t be put off by sweet words, especially from the people who may be at the root of the problem.
Above all don’t write a report and then file it just for the sake of it. Only keep meaningful information about your business. If it doesn’t mean anything to you, then don’t keep it.
You can read about more hints and tips to improve your business in my free eBook; and even more if you download the eWorkbook that gives you a full set of instructions on how to set up a filing system for your business.
Judy Owen has been working with businesses of all sizes and complexities for more than 20 years to improve and streamline the access to their business information. She and her team can show you how to reduce risk, improve productivity and increase profits with good business systems and processes in your business.