Access Now: AORN COVID-19 Clinical Support

Archive December 2019 XX, No. 12

Staffing: Knock Tasks Down With the 2-Minute Rule

You and your staff can get a lot done in 120-second increments.

Ann Geier

Ann Geier, RN, MS, CNOR, CASC


DOWNTIME If your staff has a few minutes of downtime between cases, it's a prime opportunity to knock out small but critical tasks.

Near the end of the day, 6 recovery room nurses were standing around the PACU desk chatting it up. Not one of them was doing chart reviews or making follow-up calls or doing, well, anything at all. They were simply biding their time until the shift was over instead of making the most of even the tiniest windows of extra time. How? By following the 2-Minute Rule.

In the world of self-help, the 2-Minute Rule refers to bestselling author (Getting Things Done) David Allen’s philosophy that if a task on your to-do list takes less than 2 minutes to accomplish, you should do it right away and avoid putting it off. Here are just a few of the tasks your staff can accomplish in a mere 120 seconds of downtime.

1Make a single follow-up phone call. With overall patient experience playing a pivotal role for outpatient facilities everywhere, staff should always make follow-up phone calls. This is a perfect task to knock out if you find yourself with 2 minutes to spare. To avoid wasting your time during these rare windows of downtime, make sure to set yourself up for success during the admission process. You should always make it a point to ask patients for the best number where they can be reached on the next business day. Be clear and let them know a nurse will be calling on that number to check up on them. If the patient is a child, ask the parent for their best number, as well as whether they’ll be at work and reachable there.

New to Outpatient Surgery Magazine?
Sign-up to continue reading this article.
Register Now
Have an account? Please log in:
Email Address:
  Remember my login on this computer

advertiser banner

Other Articles That May Interest You

Fighting the Incivility War

Teaching and requiring respectful behavior improve staff morale, patient safety and the bottom line.

Staffing: Bridging the Generation Gap

Can Boomers and Millennials work side by side in harmony?

Staffing: Beating the Block Time Blues

4 tips to create a culture of efficient, lean scheduling.