QUERI – Quality Enhancement Research Initiative

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Quality Improvement Methods

40. Responsibilities Matrix

a. Definition: A matrix relating assignments and personnel which helps to identify duplications and gaps in the allocation of responsibilities among staff. The effectiveness of an intervention in clinical and other processes may be hindered due to duplicate (or missing) responsibilities. Finding duplicate duties makes is possible to reduce the waste of overproduction and unnecessary work. A Responsibilities Matrix can be used to organize the hierarchy of responsibilities and specify who is accountable for each task.

b. Literature: Literature on business process reengineering, organizational design and project management discusses this method.

c. Example: The chart below was done to identify responsibilities in pre-op surgery and help find duplications in the surgery prep interactions with patients.

 A chart to identify responsibilities in pre-op surgery and help find duplications in the surgery prep interactions with patients

d. Steps:

1) Identify the responsibilities or tasks to be represented.

2) Determine what each individual does with respect to these responsibilities. It is often necessary to interview each individual separately to accurately gather this data.

3) Prepare the matrix. Responsibilities may not be binary (yes or no) but include other aspects such as who is the leader and who has a role to follow others.

4) Evaluate the results; look for redundancies or gaps.