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An Easy Method for Preventing Mistakes at Visits
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In this lesson you will learn:
- A simple and effective method that helps you get all of the details right, even during the most hectic days.
The ‘Point and Call’ Technique
I really like the ‘Point and Call’ Technique. It seems silly and cumbersome at first but once I got in the habit of using it I felt more at ease leaving my visits because I was sure I did everything correctly.
The point and Call technique is really simple to use. So, easy in fact, it might seem pointless at first. But, the boost it lends to quality is impeccable.
All you do is point to the item you are checking, say the name of the item you are checking out loud, and If everything looks good, you say OK!
The ‘Point and Call’ technique was developed to prevent high speed train accidents in Japan. At first this technique was only used by conductors, but the program was so successful in preventing accidents the ‘Point and Call’ technique was expanded to all railway safety personnel at all railway systems in Japan.
As the safety inspector goes through their checklist before a train is cleared for departure, the inspector points at each item to be checked, then clearly calls out the name of that item. The inspector makes a mental check to see if the item is in fact OK to be cleared. Then if it is OK. The inspector says in a clear voice “OK!”
This method is so simple to use and so effective, I teach it to every sitter we hire and I instruct every employee to use this technique whenever they give a medication.
Point and Call Example
For example, let’s say, Bella, a grey and white cat gets 5 mg of Methimazole, a common thyroid medication for cats, by mouth every 12 hours.
- Point to Bella and say: “Bella, the grey and white cat. OK!”
- I’ll point to the medication chart where I wrote down the medication instructions and read them out loud. I’ll say: “Methimazole, 5 mg by mouth every 12 hours. OK!”
- I’ll point to the medication container and read the instructions aloud so I am sure I have the correct bottle of medicine. “Methimazole, 5 mg by mouth every 12 hours. OK!”
I might also:
- Point to the med chart and say: “The last time I gave this medication was 8:10 am. OK!”
- Then point to my watch and say: “The time is 8:32 pm. OK!”
- “About 12 hours has passed. OK!”
Once I am sure everything is looking correct, I will give the medication, mark my initials, and write the time on my medication chart.
I do urge you to go though this process when you are giving medications to a pet. The times you let your guard down are the times when it is easy to make a mistake. I am often surprised when I go through the point and call technique, that my ear might catch a discrepancy that my eyes do not.
If you would like to see how rail operators use the point and call technique to keep their passengers safe, please look below for a link to a wonderful video, Japan Points the Way to Better Safety.