A process is the organization of tasks that are executed together to deliver an output that satisfies the customer needs. The value and the quality of output that satisfies the customer rely on the exact performance of the tasks and the accessibility of resources.
To accomplish this a process must be put in place to ensure that we are getting back from what we are putting into this process, and also make sure the process is efficient. Any process no matter what field must define its scope, goals and measure its success when dealing with process improvement.
Defining the scope for a process project is not like defining scope for other types of projects. One of the major reasons for this is that processes are always linked to other processes and changes to a process can rarely be implemented without affecting other interfacing processes.
For ex. A process improvement to improve the referral system at a hospital I worked at. Some of the issues that affected patients were the long wait time to be referred to specialty clinics. To start we went back to our goals and realized we were not living up to them. We got feedback from the patients as to what the issue was and suggestions to solve the problem. We also completed a lean six-sigma process improvement on our current process, recreated a new process, and then revaluated it every 6 months. We collected data, and continuously improved the process as the months went by. Without the feedback we would have never learned what was going wrong, so we could fix it.
2. Susan your last line “When organizations don't collect, analyze, and evaluate data from patient satisfaction scores, readmissions or reimbursement in order to provide quality care and a safe environment and set this as a priority to improve than they will not grow in the future,” this is so true. An example I can give you of this is from St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown, Ohio; the organization understands patients are an important part of that success. The patient experience has been held to the highest of regards in influencing change within the organization. Recently, Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) scores have played a large impact on the organization considering reimbursement. The VBP points entail a pay for performance program and the patients influence these VBP scores based on their hospital experiences. Some main goals of quality improvement that have been initiated to better the patient experience are better nurse to patient ratios, stronger commitment to the organization, and higher levels of training for employees. If they did not define scope, goals, and measures of success before the process improvement it would have failed.
3. Why is it important to spend time up front strategizing on what data collection tools to use prior to collecting data?
In healthcare it is important to have a plan before collecting data. Using tools to collect data is one of the most efficient ways to follow up on documentation, whether the data are collected retrospectively or prospectively (Ransom, 2008). All tools used in healthcare organizations are helpful for management, leadership, and patients. Performance measurement data as well as any other performance tool are helpful in delivering quality care services for patients.
These tools help healthcare organizations by providing factual evidence of the performance. They promote ongoing organization, self-evaluation, and improvement. They also facilitate cost-efficient methods and helps meet external requirements and demands for performance excellence. Overall, the tools foster organization development and differentiate the organization from other competitors.
Ransom, R. Elizabeth (2008). The Healthcare Quality Book: Vision, Strategy, and Tools, (2 Ed). Health Administration Press, 2008.
Determining the collection tool before