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Short meetings have had a large impact on communication and organisation culture at The Royal Children’s Hospital.

Twice a day, staff from across the hospital gather for what has become known as the ‘huddle’. These short meetings check in with teams from across the organisation – including clinicians, nurses, administration and maintenance.

And according to leaders at the hospital, the impact has been dramatic.

“As the executive on call, in 15 minutes at the start of the day I know everything across the organisation and where I may get called to,” said Mike O’Brien, the hospital’s Chief of Surgery.

“Obviously [we are working] in healthcare, and stuff changes during the day, but my starting point is a log scale higher than what it used to be.

 “The major benefit – particularly if we have a challenging day coming up – is that everyone knows where the challenges are and everyone is pitching in to help to support their colleagues,” said John Stanway, Deputy Chief Executive Officer at The Royal Children’s Hospital.

The success of the huddle concept is now spreading across the hospital, with staff creating smaller stand up meetings in their teams which are proving to be more efficient than longer meetings, John said.

The beneficial impact on the organisation’s culture has also been noted.

“The huddle is the exemplar of the culture which we are shifting the organisation towards, which is greater openness, greater transparency, and greater communication,” said Mike O’Brien.