Ray Killam, CFSP, CFC
Alberta Health Services' Kelly Halseth, Forms Management and Printing Services, was granted the Professional Award at the 2011 Symposium. Ray Killam, President Emeritus, presented the award at the awards luncheon.
The project entitled "Applying a Process Improvement Tool to Improve a Clinical Process, Clinical Breast Health Improvement Project" involves the practical application of process improvement to a specific business problem. It describes the methodology used and how the process map defined the cross-functional process, built understanding between stakeholders, aided in identifying process problems and assisted the team members in thinking 'outside' the process.
The complete 38-page report, including attachments, has been posted to the BFMA website. We encourage you to read it at your leisure, as it describes how the forms management team coordinated a major project that returned substantial improvements in service to anxious and concerned patients in what could be life-altering situations.
From the report: At the point the radiologist reads a mammogram and believes a biopsy is appropriate, they would action a standing order/protocol for a biopsy with an informational copy to the family doctor. This change could remove from the process all the time involved in waiting for the report to be transcribed, the time the doctor needs to review the report, contact the patient, schedule another office visit and see the patient --- only to action the initial recommendation of the radiologist and then wait for a biopsy appointment.
For patients who have travelled for their mammogram, common in rural Alberta, they would be able to have their biopsy completed the same day, saving them additional waiting, stress and travel time.
Process mapping consists of a collection of tools and methods used to understand an organization’s processes. Those tools allow us to define, document, analyze, improve, streamline and redesign business processes to realize organizational efficiencies. A process map is a visual aid for picturing work processes and shows how inputs and tasks are linked and highlights the steps required to consistently produce a desired output.
A process map encourages new thinking about how work is done, where it is done, who performs it, what problems frequently occur and how best to solve them. Process models and maps can be used to identify appropriate quality improvement team members, illustrate critical sub-processes, identify who provides inputs to whom, where and when, what the process outputs are and what data needs to be collected. Process maps can reveal redundancies, workarounds and process gaps. They can help us understand the flow of a wide variety of things: information, documentation, forms, patients, products, supplies, customers or employees.
Research into various business analysis methodologies was completed to determine which tool was most appropriate for this specific problem. Due to the granularity of the systems involved and the problems stemming from details within the systems, it was determined that a thorough understanding of the process workflow and related details was essential to understanding the cause(s). Because of the need for deep understanding of the process details, it was decided to launch a process analysis project using the Graham Methodology.
Congratulations to Kelly and her team on winning the Professional Award two years in a row.