How to avoid the effects of “Why didn’t you involve me?”
The importance of process re-engineering
We had the opportunity to chat with Harold Davis, VP of Finance, Human Resources, and Education at Jacobus Consulting about the importance of process re-engineering in the healthcare setting and how it benefits patients, providers, and the community at large. Take a listen!
[0:00] Introduction [0:58] The basics of process re-engineering [2:16] The importance of taking a disciplined approach to process redesign [3:44] Choosing the right tools [5:53] Business Process Model Notation (BPMN) in the healthcare setting [8:18] The benefits of using disciplined processes to implement technologies and advance patient care [11:31] How efficient process redesign can support healthcare priorities [14:16] The risks of not taking a disciplined approach to process re-engineering [17:15] Conclusion
Guest: Harold Davis
Harold serves as the VP of Finance, HR, and Education at Jacobus Consulting.
“Ultimately in healthcare, those that suffer from a poor process are not only the staff and employees, but also the patients. Our patients are ultimately the ones that feel the frustration from the fact that processes are not well designed.”
Harold is also an expert in adult learning. Check out his blog: “Creating an adaptable healthcare workforce through education.”
The basics [0:58]
Process re-engineering or redesign is the ability to systematically take a look at a process (simple or complex) and evaluate it, determine where its strengths and weaknesses are, and take the steps needed to improve the process based on organizational objectives. A key to effectively redesigning a process is to ensure the key people are involved in the decision-making process. The ultimate goal is to get a process completed with full adoption.
The importance of taking a disciplined approach [2:16]
The concept of process redesign is not new, so why bother talking about it? Although the process itself lacks novelty, a disciplined approach to process re-engineering is hard to come by. A disciplined approach ensures that you not only are going to successfully change in a positive way, but that the process will involve the right people, analysis, documentation, and allow for adequate training to support the change.
Choosing the right tools [3:44]
Taking the time to clearly document the process electronically or on paper is important so that it can be shared with other people. Getting diagramed workflows in front of the right people is absolutely key. Like the old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” A diagram helps key decision makes to easily see where processes are broken and need to be changed, as well as where they are working well. A disciplined approach shows the impact of a potential change in a more robust way. The ability to diagram the process in a way that is easily readable, can be viewed by multiple people, and shows where the strengths and weakness are, helps organizations to consider the impact of the change.
BPMN in healthcare [5:53]
There are a number of tools for process re-engineering, however, when you add a clinical dimension, it becomes much more complex. Business Process Model Notation (or BPMN) is a simple methodology that can be quickly implemented and works for clinical and business processes alike. BPMN is a standard tool, used worldwide, that can be adopted easily and quickly, without a full week’s worth of training.
The benefits of using a disciplined approach to implement technology [8:18]
In healthcare, the integration of technology means that everybody across the organization is becoming more involved in standard processes. This puts pressure on leadership to ensure that process design is done well to ensure maximum adoption. Anytime you change the system, it changes the workflow. Sometimes the system will dictate the way a process or task has to be done, but sometimes it’s customizable. We should be telling technology how to help us accomplish our objectives, not letting technology dictate those decisions. It’s important to look at the system’s capabilities and integrate them with the organization’s objectives and the desire to establish best practices. An organization should evaluate: Is this a best practice for us? Does this process make sense for out specific purposes? It’s important to remember that when an organization fails to use a disciplined approach and creates ineffective workflows, the patient experience suffers.
Process redesign and healthcare priorities [11:31]
In terms of meeting the needs of current healthcare priorities, organizations should start by analyzing the current state, then identify where and how new technology, education, and best practices can be incorporated. Once again, it’s important that the right people are involved during this first step to avoid a key stakeholder later asking, “Why didn’t you involve me?” This ensures that the ultimate objectives and outcomes are achieved.
The risks of not taking a disciplined approach [14:16]
Change is inevitable. Anytime you upgrade a system or technology, your process is going to have to change. The question is: “How?”Are you going to take a thoughtful and disciplined approach or are you going to do it casually, as the need arises? In our experience, organizations who commit to taking a disciplined approach have much better outcomes. Organizations that don’t do this encounter several problems: they miss key points of a process, they have very low adoption rates, and the end users become very frustrated because the process doesn’t work well for them.