Case Study

How healthcare leaders run better meetings with Sherpany and the Azend® framework

Meetings are essential to organisational success and an often-used instrument by all leadership teams. This is no different for the executive committee of Barmelweid, a Swiss healthcare institution employing around 700 people. Yet, their leaders face particular meeting challenges: They have to be promptly aligned in the fast-paced healthcare environment despite not having a regular work schedule. And meeting preparation can be a real challenge, too.

‘There was an obvious potential to improve the quality of our processes as well as time efficiency throughout meeting management’, pointed out Dr med Thomas Sigrist, member of the executive committee. Thus, the management of Barmelweid decided to implement Sherpany’s meeting management software. The leaders of Barmelweid started following the Azend® framework - a research-backed meeting method developed by Sherpany (see info box below). Let us now see how the combination of our technology and top meeting practices worked for them.

The pre-meeting phase accounts for up to 80% of a meetings' success

What happens before the meeting can actually make or break a meeting. The leaders at Barmelweid first create an agenda which sets the clear direction of the meeting. The CEO, Beat Stierlin, prepares the agenda, while other executive members are able to propose specific items. Sherpany software allows users to define goals per agenda item, assign participants and roles, and upload all necessary information. ‘Our management meetings require a lot of information and materials, having a dedicated tool with an easy overview of all meetings and documents is a huge advantage’, told us Dr Sigrist. 

The freedom to individually prepare meetings from anywhere

All executives then prepare individually. Dr Sigrist often prepares his meetings on his iPad, no matter if ‘at home, in the train, in the office, on- and offline’. Before using Sherpany, this was ‘almost impossible’: as all data and documents must be accessed through closed systems due to data protection policies in the healthcare system - he was tied to the office. Now, he can highlight important information, make personal annotations, and write down inputs when they arise - from anywhere.

‘As a leader, Sherpany has allowed me to work more flexibly and efficiently and brought me much closer to a paperless office.’ He saves time by always having all information available and not searching in paper documents. And Sherpany also brought a ‘mental relief’, the feeling that he does not forget an input or documents for a meeting.

Anticipating discussions without the need of seeing each other in the office

Dr Sigrist also asynchronously collaborates with his peers before the meeting even starts, another important step of Sherpany’s Azend® process. He pre-discusses agenda items and interacts on meeting documents with his peers.

‘I share my opinion through the comments function in Sherpany and anticipate discussions.’
Dr med Thomas Sigrist, executive member at Barmelweid

Collaborating asynchronously with peers is particularly beneficial in the fast-paced healthcare industry, where leaders work irregular hours and often hold several positions. Dr Sigrist, who is also the Head of the Department of Internal Medicine, highlights that people can react quickly to new information and updated documents with Sherpany, without the need of seeing each other in an office setting.

How to make the meeting truly count

Thorough preparation and asynchronous collaboration also favour cooperation during the meeting itself. ‘Discussions are much more focussed, which increased the overall quality of our meetings’, said Dr Sigrist. Sherpany also helps during the meeting by providing fast access to the meeting agenda and documents. That way, the team can achieve goals more efficiently.

They record essential discussion points, decisions, and clear and concise action items and make them available in Sherpany shortly after the meeting. This increases the chances that the tasks are actually executed timely and successfully.

Sherpany’s latest feature - the feedback function - further encourages continuous improvement of the meeting culture: it allows to give and collect feedback after the meeting. Dr Sigrist and his team strive to get better: ‘Breaking traditional meeting habits takes time and effort.’

Improving leadership meeting culture hand in hand

‘Thanks to Sherpany, we were able to significantly improve our meeting processes’, highlighted Dr Sigrist. On an individual level, he emphasized that Sherpany makes him more agile as a leader and saves him time. Simultaneously, the team achieved better collaboration and meeting outcomes. According to Dr Sigrist, Sherpany’s personalised and people-focused approach to customer support and the software’s user-friendliness have fostered the change towards a more agile meeting culture. He would recommend Sherpany to all leaders of the healthcare industry and beyond, and also sees a use case on the departmental and divisional leadership level. Barmelweid’s board of directors already uses Sherpany.

Would you like to know more about Sherpany's software?

This case study shows that an effective meeting culture brings people, processes and technology together. As a result, leaders become more agile while teams boost their meeting outcomes. Find out more about our Azend® framework below.

The Sherpany Azend® framework: A holistic approach to leadership meetings

Sherpany supports a holistic approach to leadership meetings to end the culture of unproductive meetings once and for all. This is why we have combined research produced by top meeting scientists with our own practical experience in tackling leaders’ most pressing meeting problems. This resulted in a framework that sustainably helps improve meetings: the Azend® framework.

The framework brings people, processes, and technology together to find the most productive way of running leadership meetings. For all these three dimensions, the framework provides practical principles as guidance. Successfully applied, it speeds up the decision making, increases ownership of meeting outcomes, and saves leaders time.

About Barmelweid

The ‘Klinik Barmelweid’ is the leading specialist and rehabilitation clinic with a wide range of services under the roof of internal medicine. The Swiss clinic specialises in geriatric, internal, cardiovascular, and pulmonary rehabilitation as well as psychosomatic and sleep medicine.

For this case study, we had the pleasure to interview Dr med Thomas Sigrist, executive member and Head of the Department of Internal Medicine at Barmelweid. 

More information about Barmelweid:

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