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Refs. 1-3

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I. TIMING
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  1. Regular—The choice is often between monthly or bimonthly. Overall, a long-term commitment to one schedule that does not vary is ideal. An atypical but practical variation might include monthly meetings except August and December, in order to adjust for times when it is difficult to get quorum because of vacations and holidays. To support a regular meeting cycle, any cancellation on a sudden, unexpected basis must be avoided virtually without exception. Finally, a 2- to 3-year experience with a given schedule would be necessary to permit members an opportunity to work membership commitment into their own schedule.

  2. Monthly work cycle—Virtually all holidays occur in association with the first or last week of any month during the calendar year. Similarly, Mondays and Fridays frequently have distractions caused by these associated weekend demands. Thus, the second or third Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday of the calendar month are often the best choice for a regular meeting.

  3. Daily work cycle—Given the character of the discussion above, the start of the morning or afternoon would be ideal for a meeting. The afternoon timing could be associated with a light lunch prior to starting the meeting.

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II. MEETING ROOM CHARACTER
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  1. Location—A location that minimizes the travel barriers encountered by all the members of the committee is best. In a multihospital organization, this choice may not be ideal if a perception of interhospital territoriality would create a perception of bias in the decisions of the committee. There have also been suggestions regarding the use of teleconferencing.4 As this becomes a more widely accepted professional tool in the future, the barriers of travel time could be eliminated as a means to incorporate a higher degree of expertise within the members of the committee.

  2. Size—The room should have a rectangular table, or tables set up in a U shape if there are too many members for a single table, with chairs on all sides and enough room for additional chairs next to the walls for guests who might be attending a meeting. The room should allow a comfortable fit for a table that is large enough for the usual attendance as well as appropriate audiovisual equipment. Overall, the room or table should not be so large that the usual attendees might feel isolated and thus less engaged in the agenda of any meeting. Similarly, a full turnout would crowd the room, giving greater emphasis to the character of the deliberations.

  3. Seating—This can be highly defined as is seen in cases with assigned seats having a name card displayed on the table for each member. The benefits of universal identity of the members would thus be enhanced, especially if they are generally unknown to each other because of the size of an institution or hospital group. More commonly, there could be no fixed seating arrangements for a more informal tradition that could better support collaboration and open discussion. A decision by ...

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