In this assignment, you select a common event that occurs regularly in a healthcare facility
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 healthcare facility 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 page paper which includes the following:
� Create a simple flowchart of the activity you selected. Next, in your paper:
o Explain the process you have diagrammed.
o 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
? What information is needed for the execution of this step?
o Describe the metric that is currently used to measure the soundness of the workflow. Is it
o Describe any areas where improvements could occur and propose changes that could
bring about these improvements in the workflow.
o Summarize why it is important to be aware of the flow of an activity
Health Care Work Flow
The purpose of this paper is to explain the workflow of the health record systems in the
physicians’ offices in my health organization. As noted, much of the health records systems in
this facility are featured by extensive paperwork and lack of computerization. This has been the
Running Head: HEALTH CARE WORK FLOW 2
source of time wasting and delay in health care delivery. The workflow in primary care is
depicted in this diagram.
The diagram below indicates how information flows in the health setting. The following
are depicted as the main sources of information delay and subsequent poor health service in this
health care facility.
Basic Sources of Delay in Primary Care Office Workflow
Running Head: HEALTH CARE WORK FLOW 3
Scheduling: In this facility, there are two paper-based planners allocated for the two
physicians in each office. Because of oversight, there is a probability of entering the
appointments in the wrong planner of the physicians. The use of particular entries that are
physician based, the rescheduling and search for appointments results into time wastage in the
Lab Front Office Physician Patient
Running Head: HEALTH CARE WORK FLOW 4
scheduling process. For instance, if a patient fails to remember his or her appointment date,
the secretary has to extensively search the planner in trying to find such an appointment.
Repeat patient registration/ new patient information
In this phase, the validity of the information, which the physician receives from a patient,
is made limited unless he or she obtains the full record. This subsequently leads to potential
patient diagnosis, which may not be correct, or other issues related to poor health service
delivery. In addition, the process involving information collection from previous health
practitioners who had evaluated the patient may lead to wastage of precious time. This is
because, it in most cases necessitates follow ups through telephone calls, mails or other means.
For regular patients, creating copies of a prior chart for updating upholds the consistency
in the patient’s record. Nonetheless, this results into wastage of both paper and time. Keeping
large number of record over time may lead to either misplacement or loss of vital documents.
For tasks related to registration, the basic issue is also related with the management and
organization of that information. Much of the information obtained by a doctor is presented on
paper work, which must be collated and organized. Also new information from a client has to be
obtained and be entered into the records. The secretaries in the front office, wastes a lot of
precious time in organizing and presenting the information in the paper. In other words, there is a
lot of paper work resulting into loss of time. The much paper work also results into propensity
for incomplete information or information, which is not correct. According to my observation,
Running Head: HEALTH CARE WORK FLOW 5
there are some occasions when demographics details of the clients are not updated. For instance,
some letters that are supposed to be sent to clients are not sent, and some of the tests prescribed
by the physicians are not undertaken at all.
Insurance verification: The availability of numerous insurance firms plus the
variability in participation and coverage by the physicians in specific insurance programs
adds to the complication of the insurance verification processes (Bock et al, 2009). The front
secretaries have to uphold and search numerous insurance records that may either, be updated or
not at the registration time. This results to an error prone and time-consuming procedure.
Additionally, the doctor may waste another time in approving tests and involving himself or
herself with consultations with other physicians attached to the insurance firms, even after
performing tests on the client. The interaction between the physicians and the insurance firms is
a major huddle, which usually results into conflicts and confusion in the offices that are mainly
Referrals: The referral procedure in this facility is not smooth either; rather they are
error prone and time wasting. This is mainly due to various factors, which plays apart in the
determination of the workflow not only in this organization but also in many other ones. Not
only has the secretary has to identify the physician or the laboratory that is required but they are
also mandated with the obligation of determining whether a particular insurance firm certifies the
physician or laboratory as an identified supplier of the required service.
Running Head: HEALTH CARE WORK FLOW 6
Collation and Organization of the received report: Prioritizing and organization of
reports in this facility is noted for consuming a lot of time. This is because the front office
secretaries and the physician must put a lot of attention to the general process. Though the
secretaries are quite capable of prioritizing and organizing information to some level, most
of them do not harbor the required competency in making sound judgments on how to
prioritize patient appointments. After the doctor reviews the information presented to him, there
is a necessity of generating various workflow items depending on the received information
from a particular patient. Apparently, delays in the review of the information and reports
results into not only healthcare delays but also unnecessary errors.
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Bock, C., L. Carnahan, S. Fenves, M. Gruninger, V. Kashyap, B. Lide, J. Nell, R. Raman, and R. D.
(2005). “Healthcare Strategic Focus Area: Clinical Informatics” Gaithersburg, MD: National
Institute for Standards and Technology,