Workflow analysis

Application: 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.
To prepare:
� Identify a common, simple event that frequently occurs in your hospital/work place 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.
To complete:
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:
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
executed?
? 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
effective?
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.
� Remember to include a cover page, introduction, and summary for your paper.

Application: Creating a Flowchart

In an organization set up, workflow analysis is important in ensuring that resources are
well utilized and activities that do not add value to the objectives of the organization are not
given much attention (Dave, 2006). Flow charts are popularly used to analyze workflow as they

APPLICATION: CREATING A FLOWCHART 2
help to highlight areas that need streamlining to ensure that the organization achieves its
objectives. The paper evaluates with the aid of a flowchart the process of receiving a patient to
the time the patient is discharged.
Flowchart

The patient is required to enter the facility through the gate where a gate pass is given.
The patient then walks to the reception and records their details. It is at this level that the patient
personal details and health problem will be captured into the system. Afterwards the patient is
directed to appropriate medical personnel for consultation and diagnosis. After consultation and
diagnosis, the patient is treatment and given a bill, which the patient pays, at the cashier office.
Gate pass is given at the gate

Welcome at the reception

Input of data into database

Directed to a medical practitioner

Making of payment at the cashier

Next appointment/Admission

Discharge

APPLICATION: CREATING A FLOWCHART 3
The patient will then be discharged, given appointment or admitted for further check-up
depending on the doctor’s recommendation. This process happens in the facility on daily basis
because patients are received daily.
The first step is normally at the gate where the patient is given a gate pass by the security
personnel manning the gate. At this point, no technology is applied. What is required is for the
security person to use observation and his skills to assess the patient. The name and the
identification number of the patient are also taken for reference and security purposes. The
security personnel are mandated by the rules and policies set by the hospital management to
scrutinize the patients and any other visitors that enter the facility before granting them a go
ahead. Therefore, the security personnel must work and comply with these policies. They have
been trained on how to execute the duties and therefore, perform their work in a professional
manner.
At the welcome/reception desk, four receptionists welcome the patients to the facility.
They enter the names and the health problem of the patient into the database. At this level,
information system is used to store information of the patient. At this stage, information
required by the receptionists is knowledge on assessment of the patients as well as the specific
rooms that the patient will have to locate their doctors. The receptionist, after taking the dates of
the patient then directs them to various doctors for consultation, diagnosis and treatment.
After treatment, the patient is required to visit a cashier located near the entrance and pay
the bills as prescribed by the medical practitioners. The accounting department uses information
technology and this ensures that records are well maintained. Incase the patient is required to
purchase medicines; there is a pharmacy adjacent to cashiers office which is also digitalized.

APPLICATION: CREATING A FLOWCHART 4
The cashier and the pharmacy are served with two people that help in executing the duties. The
employees are skilled in information technology. The patient is then at discretion to leave the
hospital after being served. Incase, there is need for further check up, the patient may be given
appointment or admitted for closer monitoring of the progress. Three medical practitioners take
care of admitted patients to ensure that they are provided with food and other emergency
services.
The metric used to measure the soundness of the workflow is performance evaluation
reports. This report is formulated after some time intervals by the various departments in the
facility. They are, formulated through intensive evaluation and auditing of all systems in the
hospitals to ensure that processes are operating well (De Carvalho et al 2012). To ensure
whether the hospital is performing as per the set standards, various issues are examined such as
the performance of the information systems deployed, the rate of patient complaints in the
hospital, time taken to serve the customer, level of satisfaction of the patients among many
others (Neely, Gregor & Platts, 1995). Therefore, this metric has proved to be successful in
finding out the areas that were not doing well and those that performed well hence aiding in
providing a solution.
Even though, the workflow is recommendable, there is need for improvements in
adoption of technology in the facility. To enhance performance, the hospital needs to extend its
networks to all the departments to ensue that appropriate decisions are made and to enhance
efficiency in service delivery (Frank, 1994). For instance, security, pharmacy reception, and
other departments should be connected to speed up their communications and service delivery.
This will bring improvement in the workflow.

APPLICATION: CREATING A FLOWCHART 5
It is important to be aware of the flow of an activity to understand how it works in order
to facilitate its performance (Keith, 1997). Furthermore, knowing the flow ensures proper
planning as time is adequately allocated for the execution. Likewise, enough resources are
provided to ensure that the tasks are performed better.

References

APPLICATION: CREATING A FLOWCHART 6
Dave G. (2006). “Building Applications on a Workflow Platform” Architecture Journal, April
De Carvalho, E et al (2012). Workflow in Clinical Trial Sites & Its Association with Near Miss
Events for Data Quality: Ethnographic, Workflow & Systems Simulation, PLoS ONE,
7(6):1-11.
Keith, H. (1997). Workflow in Context, pages 27–32. J. Wiley & Sons, 1997.
Frank, L. (1994). Managing business process as an information resource. IBM System
Journal, 33(2):326–348.
Neely, D., Gregor, J., & Platts, k. (1995). Performance Measurement System Design.
International, Journal of Operations and Production Management, 15(4):80–116.

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