Most organizations recognize the value of Business Process Analysis (BPA) and Business Process Improvement (BPI) and claim to engage in Business Process Management (BPM). Few ever get beyond BPA and BPI.
BPMx remedies this by allowing organizations to put their best practice protocols ‘in-line’ so that Orders Management Software can guide the processing of patients along individualized patient care pathways.
You may have read previous blogs where I highlighted the important difference between ‘off-line’, ‘on-line’ and ‘in-line’ best practices.
The basics are truly simple. Whereas most business process mapping ends with a picture of a workflow, BPMx provides advanced software technology to compile agency process maps, carve up process steps and post these to the attention of healthcare workers at a user-friendly Orders Management interface.
Posting is done by a resource allocation module that guides the processing and tracks progress of individual patients along patient-specific care pathways. The resource allocation module ensures that staff no longer needs to worry what the next step is for a patient, who should perform it, when, where or what forms need to be filled in to document interventions.
The Orders Management user interface consists of two parts: a Schedule that shows fixed time commitments for each day plus a to-do list of floating time tasks for each day. Anyone who has used Personal Agenda systems such as FiloFax immediately bonds with the user interface. Since an important part of the process map compilation activity is to provide ready access to agency forms required at tasks, software system learning time is reduced by as much as 90%.
The benefits of in-line process maps, automated resource allocation and an Orders Management framework are real and quantifiable:
- Increased staff efficiency
- Improved patient throughput
- Decreased admin/clinical errors
- Increased compliance with internal and external rules and regulations
- Improved outcomes
These benefits are not idle ‘saves time and money’ promises. They can be quantified if an agency takes the trouble to document ‘before’ and ‘after’.
Staff efficiency increases because each provider sees his/her workload for today at ONE screen. Fixed time encounters either take place or do not and each provider micro-schedules to-do tasks for performance in between the encounters. At the end of each day, the desired state of affairs is an empty Orders InTray. Resource leveling and balancing across providers is carried out by supervisors at an executive dashboard.
Patient throughput improves because providers no longer have to brief colleagues on completed interventions. Committing a task immediately posts the next-in-line task to the appropriate providers down the hall or across the campus. Imposed delays at process steps automatically post reminders for tasks that must be completed within timeframe limits (e.g. 90-day treatment plan reviews). The complete Hx is accessible at the patient EHR where users may view data, as it was, at the time it was collected, on the form versions that were in service at that time.
Administrative and clinical errors decrease because the software system guides the processing of each patient along disease or context appropriate workflows. It becomes difficult to inadvertently skip tasks, perform tasks out of order, be late/too early, or fail to properly document tasks.
The presence of system-level background tasks at key process control points (PCPs) along workflows ensures compliance with internal and external rules and regulations. PCPs carry out 100% quality auditing (i.e. at the individual transaction level) as opposed to traditional manual 3-5% sampling. Business rules at PCPs cause a hard stop until deficiencies are remedied or a supervisory override is obtained. PCPs accommodate the need to deviate from best practices when special situations require that tasks be skipped or that tasks not referenced in a workflow need to be performed.
Routine processing of tasks results in two data streams, one that automatically builds up the patient EHR in real time plus a second that posts patient summary data at an official interface for shipment to subscribers of the data. Each subscriber receives data on a strict need-to-know basis with security set at the individual data element level, satisfying the most demanding of external reporting requirements.
Over time, consistent use of best practice protocols and periodic re-analysis/re-mapping of processes improves patient outcomes.
Civerex Systems Inc markets BPMx software suites called CIVER-PSYCH and CIVER-MED that are capable of streamlining healthcare operations and providing the benefits listed above. If you are in the market for an EHR system, traditional billing systems that have simply been renamed to “EHR” systems to ‘accommodate’ workflows are unable to provide the benefits cited above at an operational level. If you doubt this, consider the practicality of trying to making copies of disease/context-specific process maps for individual patients and marking these up with felt pen markers to show progress.
For more information on tomorrow’s technology today, call 800 529 5355 or register at www.civerex.com for a ½ hour one-on-one web demo where you will be able to see ‘workflows that work’ and get answers to your questions.