OK, my healthcare process improvement folks, I gave you a hard time a few weeks ago about always feeling you are different and I heard your responses. Now, let’s get down to business.
Healthcare Rosetta Stone
I want to build a common process framework for healthcare, but, I need guidance from both the healthcare folks out there, as well as my BPM and process framework geeks. We need to come up with a usable framework that will allow any healthcare organization, staff person, or systems to talk to each other in a meaningful way, much the way the Rosetta Stone allowed translation between multiple languages for the first time. The issue in developing this process framework is complex, but not unlike what we’ve seen in other industries (Healthcare, you are that different). The shared benefit of doing this is enormous.
The goal is to build out a process category called something like “Deliver Patient Services,” and ultimately develop meaningful, common process groups, processes, and activities within that category. Easy enough, we are a process shop and can spit out a framework with our eyes closed. In order to make this a meaningful framework, though, it has to allow any healthcare organization a guide to assembling their individual value stream and translate that to any other organization, individual, or system.
For example, one organization might assemble their process groups, processes, and activities based on disease, such as oncology, pediatrics, or cardiology. Yet another may assemble these based on access points, such as emergency department, clinics, or day surgery. And, yet another may categorize these based on the type (or age group) of the patient, such as newborns, adolescents, or adult care.
I’ve also heard and read of organization using protocols to track and measure the outcomes of patient services. Many healthcare organizations report that nearly 90% of the actual services delivered (activities) fall under a small proportion (i.e., 10%) of the protocols they manage. That sounds like an area ripe for a framework. If you can identify that amount of the work under that focused of a set of categories, then you are getting close to a common language.
My internal framework guru tells me the key, right now, is to just get started. So, that is what we are doing. We’ll start with asking as many healthcare professionals what they actually do. The activities are the key. We’ll categorize those into processes, groups, and categories using the groupings that naturally evolve. The result won’t be the ideal process framework for any single healthcare organization, but it will be a starting point for every healthcare organization out there.
That is my Mission and I can’t wait to see what we come up with. Stay tuned and tell me what you think through your comments and emails.