Assignment: Creating a Flowchart
Workflow analysis aims to determine workflow patterns that maximize the effective use of resources and minimize activities that do not add value. There are a variety of tools that can be used to analyze the workflow of processes and clarify potential avenues for eliminating waste. Flowcharts are a basic and commonly used workflow analysis method that can help highlight areas in need of streamlining.
In this Assignment, you select a common event that occurs regularly in your organization and create a flowchart representing the workflow. You analyze the process you have diagrammed and propose changes for improvement.
Identify a common, simple event that frequently occurs in your organization that you would like to evaluate.
Consider how you would design a flowchart to represent the current workflow.
Consider what metrics you would use to determine the effectiveness of the current workflow and identify areas of waste.
Write a 3- to 5-page paper which includes the following:
Create a simple flowchart of the activity you selected. (Review the Sample Workflow of Answering a Telephone in an Office document found in this week’s Learning Resources for an example.)
Next, in your paper:
Explain the process you have diagrammed.
For each step or decision point in the process, identify the following:
Who does this step? (It can be several people.)
What technology is used?
What policies and rules are involved in determining how, when, why, or where the step is executed?
What information is needed for the execution of this step?
Describe the metric that is currently used to measure the soundness of the workflow. Is it effective?
Describe any areas where improvements could occur and propose changes that could bring about these improvements in the workflow.
Summarize why it is important to be aware of the flow of an activity.
Remember to include a cover page, introduction, and summary for your paper.
By Day 7 of Week 8
Submit the Assignment.
Note: This paper will serve as the Portfolio Assignment for the course.
Assignment: Creating a Flowchart
The Assignment Creating a Flowchart, which was begun in Week 7, is due by Day 7 of this week.
By Day 7
Submit the Assignment.
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Quality of Work Submitted:
The extent of which work meets the assigned criteria and work reflects graduate level critical and analytic thinking.
27 (27%) – 30 (30%)
Assignment exceeds expectations. All topics are addressed with a minimum of 75% containing exceptional breadth and depth about each of the assignment topics.
A workflow refers to a graphic overview of processes in an organization. It is a stepwise procedure of how tasks or activities are completed from the start to finish (Szpak et al., 2012). A workflow indicates who is responsible for a given task at a particular point of process. Its design entails conducting of a thorough workflow analysis that can possibly expose any likely weaknesses. It helps operators define, standardize and identify critical sections of a work process. The following is a workflow analysis for a primary care clinic with an electronic health records system.
Figure 1: A Flow Chart of a Healthcare Organization Activity
Basing on the above diagrammed process, the typical workflow for a patient visit at the primary care unit starts with patient intake proportion. This includes appointment request and notification, registration of patient at the receptionist area, history taking and documentation before one begins a clinical exam. A patient can contact a healthcare unit for an appointment either through a phone call or in-person to make a walk in appointment. The patient is, therefore, taken as available.
After a patient arrives on the appointment day, the receptionist takes down the patient’s demographic data including address, age, date of birth, emergency contacts, social security number as well as the insurance provider information. This information is important for executing this step. It is thereafter entered into the insurance and demographic component of the health care unit’s electronic registration system (Fleissner et al., 2014). This step is done by the receptionist using the electronic health records technology. The policy involved in determining how and why the step is executed is the goal to facilitate accuracy of diagnosis while reducing medical errors that could have possibly occurred during practice. Medical errors could be as a result of confusing the health data of different patient’s health records.
Thereafter, the receptionist searches the database for a patient file. New patients are scheduled and registration process completed. They are scheduled for a 45 minutes appointment after receiving a unique patient identification number (ptlD). The identification number remains crucial for the patient’s life at the healthcare unit. For the case of a returning patient, the demographic information is retrieved from the system, including the patient identification number (ptlD) and thereafter scheduled for a 25 minute appointment. The policy involved in determining how the step is executed regards the need to adopt to a unique technological system of operation for reasons of saving time while enhancing operation efficiency in the event of care delivery.
After the scheduling and registration of a patient, the demographic information is updated and validated in the current registration system. A nurse is, therefore, alerted regarding the arrival of a patient and if available, the patient is sent to the clinic’s exam room. This step is done by the nurse using the electronic health records system technology. The portion of workflow includes taking physical exam of the patient, radiological testing, patient laboratory as well as patient discharge. Once in the exam room, the completed encounter form is reviewed by the assigned nurse. The practitioner feeds the relevant information and chief complaints into the electronic record. The policy involved in the execution of this policy is provision of quality and timely care to patients while paying heed to specific health complaints to ensure accurate diagnosis and treatment of their pressing health concerns (Chen et al., 2015).
The final step is done by the physician. A physician gets into an encounter with the patient and completes the patient exam. He/she fills the respective orders on lab radiology, medication and referrals in the system after completing the encounter. If a patient is prescribed for a medication order, the physician updates a patient prescription in the system before leaving the examination room and sends a notification to the nurse table. After the completion of the visit, the patient goes via the clinic desk to confirm any schedules for a return visit for documentation reasons (Fleissner et al., 2014). The orders are, thereafter, executed by the nurse who facilitates the scheduling of medication prescriptions, lab examinations and radiology tests.
When the lab results are ready, they are sent to the nurse file who enters the results in the patient’s records. Patients with any abnormal results are called in to visit a medical doctor or specialist. The ones with normal result-limits are notified on the same. The results are also updated on their specific health records in the system. The sick patients are given a full medical prescription by the specialists (Chen et al., 2015). The nurses thereafter contact both the pharmacy and the patients. The policy involved in determining how and why this step is executed is the goal to achieve high efficacy level in care provision to ensure their health complaints are fully examined, treated and handled with care.
The metrics that are currently used to measure the soundness of the workflow are the quality of patient health outcomes and the levels of satisfaction attained. If patients sound satisfied with the type of services provided in the flow chart, then it means that the workflow provides sound measures that meet client’s health needs. However, the main area that needs to be improved upon is engagement of patients in their wellness because the accessibility to patient records are limited to nurses and physicians. The technology should be upgraded so that the patients can have an easy approachability to their medical records and can easily review them without necessarily having to book in medical appointments even when they are not sick. It is important to be aware of the flow of charts so that all practitioners are able to keep track of hospital routine and understand what is expected of them at a particular time (Szpak et al., 2012). It will also help nurses and other healthcare staff members to understand their roles and the order in which tasks are completed.
Chen, Y., Xie, W., Gunter, C. A., Liebovitz, D., Mehrotra, S., Zhang, H., & Malin, B. (2015). Inferring clinical workflow efficiency via electronic medical record utilization. In AMIA annual symposium proceedings (Vol. 2015, p. 416). American Medical Informatics Association.
Fleissner, B. B., Jasti, K., Ales, J., & Thomas, R. (2014). The importance of data governance in healthcare. White papers, Encore, retrieved from http://encorehealthresources. com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/The-Importanc e-of-Data-Governance_FINAL-Oct-2014. pdf.
Szpak, P., Pacheco, P., Robl, C., & Orehek, M. (2012). U.S. Patent No. 8,181,150. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.