SOP

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So the other day I was wickedly busy and violated my own protocol: I did not check my son’s medicine when I picked it up at the pharmacy.  It was early afternoon and I was between multiple appointments and listening to a CE so I figured I could multitask, but due to traffic delays I was running behind and did not follow my SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) with this task.

Have you cut corners?  Not cleaned up something the way you should have and had to then redo it, or couldn’t find the tool because you didn’t put it back and as such lost more time than you saved?

Jumped through an application wicked quick to try and hit a deadline and realized you missed a signature and have to go back and get it so that you miss the cutoff that pushed you to go too fast?

Moved too fast in the kitchen and spilled what you were preparing, so that all the other effort leading up to that point was wasted?

Pilots have pre-flight checklists for a reason: to make sure nothing gets missed and minimize the potential of something really bad happening because a small detail is overlooked.  Surgeons do this too.  Granted, the downside potential is much greater for them, but their ingrained habit of sticking to process allows a much higher level of safety that we all count on.  Do you have processes in place to minimize downside with each client?  To maximize your potential on the upside?

We use feeder lists and agendas with every client as part of our SOPs to make sure we don’t skip anything important, even after 10,000+ meetings.  The feeder lists are to make it easy for the client to help us help other people within their sphere of influence, and having them every time makes sure we get paid each time, consistently instead of winging it and hoping to make revenue.  We don’t NEED them, until the time that we forget because people are harried and time (and tempers) are short.  And in that moment of crisis we need it and are glad to have it in hand, that fall back written bit of training.

“In case of emergency, keep calm and follow procedures.”

So that 30 seconds I didn’t take to verify the medicine, assuming it was the filled as written versus the generic that doesn’t interact with my kid well and is essentially useless, allowing his ADHD to run wild like a crazed squirrel?  Yeah, you guessed it.  I go back to get it replaced with the good stuff (twenty-minute drive each way for the 30 seconds I saved) and they won’t do it, now I have to call the insurance company and the doctor, invest probably another few hours to get this rectified, and deal with the chaos for probably two weeks. 

That thirty seconds was totally worth ignoring my procedure.

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