Productive practice - As I work in health care rather than manufacturing, can you tell me what this means?

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An e-learning module or article about an e-learning module which is run an managed by the British Geriatrics Society
Soline Jerram
Date Published:
01 October 2012
Last updated: 
01 October 2012

This practice question has been published with the kind permission of the Royal College of Nursing

Productive working is often associated with manufacturing, where being productive results in producing items. Many of the techniques that can be used to assess and improve productivity originated in the car manufacturing industry.

In recent years the techniques used in such industries have been adapted to support the delivery of health services. A range of productive modules and associated tools have been developed by the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement (2006-2011).

So why should productive working be embraced by front line care staff, many of whom would argue that they are already busy, with not enough time to do anything else? Remember that being busy does not always mean that you are being productive, effective or efficient.

Using a systematic approach to adopt these techniques has been shown to support the delivery of cost-effective patient care as well as improving safety by developing consistency in care. Their use also leaves more time available for face-to-face contact with patients.

This Practice Question has been published with the kind permission of the Royal College of Nursing