Example Case: How to Improve Hospitals by Improving Nursing with First Principles

How to break down complex questions into solvable steps

A while back I was in a hospital in Germany.

Hospitals are never fun but this experience was particularly bad.

What was the problem?

The nurses. More precisely their working conditions.

Amazing people but completely overworked and on the brink of burnout.

There is a shortage of nurses all over Germany and beyond.

Studies show, that for each patient added per nurse, mortality rates increase.

In short: We're losing lives and burning out people because we don't have enough skilled nurses.

This makes the job even less attractive. A vicious cycle.

So how could we improve this?

Let's break it down:

Breakdown of the nursing problem inspired by bulletproof problem-solving

As you see, the problem is solvable.

From here we can:

  • Focus on the most value-adding ideas

  • Calculate their cost-to-benefit ratio

  • Decide for 1-2 activities to start with

  • Decide for a pilot region

  • Learn, adjust, and expand to further regions

Yes, it's going to cost some money. But, if we focus on the things that get us the most bang for the buck, we can get the support we need.

Who do you think needs to see this?

Back to the point of this article.

This isn't a political post. It's only to show how with some simple structuring you can address big challenges.

You can start the right discussion...

What topics do you have in mind that we should address?

- Alex