Process Mapping refers to the creation of diagrams that illustrate the workflow of a specific procedure in the quest to gain a deeper understanding of all the activities involved. These maps include all the tasks in a business structure. It is usually to enhance efficiency by reducing repetition and guaranteeing the maximum utilization of the resources of the business entity. In a hospital system, a process map will describe all the activities from the confirmation of details of the visiting individual, diagnosis, admission, prescription, payment, up to the discharge of a patient (Heher & Chen, 2019). However, similar to other activities in most businesses, there are risks involved in each process.
The confirmation of an individual’s medical history may involve a myriad of risks if the person in charge does not take enough care in handling the task. This history will be a valuable foundation for the preliminary and the main diagnoses that ensue immediately after an individual checks-in a hospital. It may disclose hereditary diseases or make the physicians aware of any medical allergies that may be fatal to the patient if they fail to factor them in their diagnosis.
Many hospitals have their unique set of principles that guide them in the admission of patients within their facilities. It begins by determining whether the patient can get primary treatments and go home or, the individual may need extra attention to stabilize their condition. This stage is the most crucial because if diagnosis misses other vital areas of concern, the patient might step out and have their conditions worsen. Hospitals also do their due diligence to determine high-risk patients. Most patients use this stage to determine if the sick person has insurance or if they generally can pay.
The prescription stage of the process is also one filled with risks, especially if the patient’s history is widely unclear. Patients could be previous users of certain drugs that may be highly addictive causing their relapse and producing a counterproductive outcome in the end. Also, it is imperative that physicians take their time in explaining the prescriptions in terms of how the patient will receive the medication and for how long, among other vital pieces of information. This professionalism at this stage will ensure that sickly individuals know all the instructions and can recover swiftly.
The significance of counter-checking the billing is impossible to overemphasize. Many healthcare institutions have the reputation of billing for services not rendered or, suddenly hiking their rates for no apparent reason or changing their prices at their convenience. Duplicate and wrongful bills are also occurrences that are common at this particular point in the process. However, the medical facilities can also be victims of the risks involved with this stage. Firstly, some insurance companies may take longer to pay up thereby inconveniencing hospitals on services already rendered. Also, some clients can use the registration numbers frequently especially those on receipts.
The payment stage usually is straightforward most of the times, especially when it involves cash or any other form of direct compensation. However, there are many methods of payment with unique characteristics, available for different physicians such as bundled payments and Accountable Care Organizations. These different structures may pose different perils to the relevant subscribers.
The purpose of Business Process Maps
Business process maps are crucial for the survival of any company. An organization needs to understand the activities and operations essential to the achievement of already set goals and objectives. Mapping process allows the business no discover hidden methods that may otherwise be difficult to understand or enhance. It then provides for the consistent delivery of services and products which is critical in the maintaining of quality standards. This representation also creates an element of professionalism in an organization, as both junior and senior employees know precisely what their roles are at specific points.
Process maps enable a company to ascertain its operations are customer-oriented. It may be a big blow if an establishment struggles in improving its profitability without first detailing all the procedures in which it undertakes (Heher & Chen, 2019). The chances are high that there may be other unclear processes that hinder the entity from competing healthily with other similar businesses. It may involve duplicated roles that may waste efforts of individuals without substantially adding on to the overall performance of the organization. Also, the presence of repetitive and unnecessary steps may reduce the overall speed of the employees to achieve the set short and long term goals.
The diagrammatic representation of the critical practices of a corporation may enable its executives to understand how individual processes impact the general outcomes and, to motivate and encourage improvements to the overall chain rather than in specific activities which may be time and consuming and costly to the organization. The representation of all the procedures may also help identify weak connection points between the customers and the suppliers, to allow for the provision of an urgent remedy of the issue and, to enable the company to retain its competitive advantage (Antonacci et al., 2018).
Process Maps and Flowcharts in the Improvement of Performance
The main reason for mapping processes is for a company to gain a deeper understanding of all the activities that take place within the premises. It is through this purpose that executives can be able to determine those tasks that are unnecessary and repetitive. This determination will then enable the administration to improve the efficiency of the whole chain, but after the diagrammatic representation points out the main issues.
An administration has to ensure that all its services are customer-oriented. However, without identifying all the activities first, and uncovering hidden processes, a company may fail to comprehend the exact problems in its structure that hinder its performance. Additionally, it may reduce mistakes in procedures as not all employees would be aware of the method to achieve consistent, high-quality goods and services. Fortunately, through mapping, the representation may serve as training for everyone, to ensure that all participants know their specific roles towards the attaining of the targets of the business.
It is equally imperative that a company handle its external conditions as better as it manages its internal affairs. The mapping venture may enable a firm to discover non-compliance to industry standards before regulators come knocking. This early discovery, through this necessary procedure, will allow for the establishment to re-engineer all its operations in the quest to better its performance and meet the standards of the industry before attracting unwanted attention from external industry authorities. Business Process Mapping will also allow the company to maintain a standard quality of services and products, through the introduction of repeatable and predictable steps in various departments (Heher & Chen, 2019).
Mapping outlines all procedures and the resources needed to complete every task involved. It is therefore undoubted that in this development, a company can unearth wastages in various sections by pinpointing gaps, excesses, and duplications in all areas of the firm. The representation will then help the administration make critical choices in re-engineering the protocols for the sole purpose of enhancing performance.
Antonacci, G., Reed, J., Lennox, L., & Barlow, J. (2018). SAGE Journals: Your gateway to world-class journal research. Retrieved from https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0951484818770411
Heher, Y., & Chen, Y. (2019). Process mapping: A cornerstone of quality improvement.