Epic CEO Judy Faulkner's 5-step method to improve staff problem-solving 

Epic founder and CEO Judy Faulkner shared in a Dec. 6 blog post a five-step method she devised to help employees tackle most problems before coming to her for solutions. 

Epic launched its epicshare.org website in August as a platform for hospital and health system executives to share ideas for improving health IT. The website features five sections, including a "Hey Judy," component that showcases stories from Ms. Faulkner about her personal philosophies and career experiences. 

In the Dec. 6 "Hey Judy" installment, Ms. Faulkner describes the five-step process — referred to as the acronym SCOPE — that she created after staff came to her with weeks-long issues that they didn't know how to solve. 

"They felt that in the 15 minutes they had with me, they could explain it to me and I would magically come up with the answer," she wrote. "Of course, sometimes I could because in our CEO jobs we end up being hubs, knowing a little about many areas of the company, and sometimes that's the knowledge that is needed. Still, usually those problems are hard, they require careful explanation, and too often they can't be solved in the brief time allotted." 

Ms. Faulkner created SCOPE so that employees would better describe their problems and be able to solve them on their own when possible. The process is now required for many meetings, and SCOPEs are limited to one page. 

Here is the SCOPE process she devised: 

1. Subject. In one sentence, briefly describe the problem at hand. 

2. Challenge. Describe the details of the issue. 

3. Opportunities. Determine what can happen if the problem is solved efficiently. 

4. Possibilities. Discern various potential ways to solve the issue. 

5. Evaluate. Choose which solution to pick and explain why.


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