What is process improvement and how does it relate to HSOs? As a current or future health care administrator, you will champion efforts aimed at ensuring effective system processes that contribute to effective health care delivery. One of the challenging aspects of engaging in process improvement activities involves determining which components make up the system of the HSO and how to best address inefficiencies or process gaps as they contribute to health care delivery. Additionally, as a current or future health care administrator, you must also consider the implications of inefficiencies in system processes as they relate to business goals.
This week, you examine process improvement and implementation by analyzing different approaches HSOs might implement for process improvement. You also create a fish bone diagram in this week’s Assignment as a way to consider how such tools may contribute to an understanding of implementation approaches for HSOs.
Consider the following scenario:
Terry is a senior histology lab technician at a large urban hospital. He is responsible for overseeing a team of six junior technicians to process samples for testing. Recently, the hospital has introduced a new process whereby the senior histology lab technician must visually accept and approve the findings of the junior technicians in order for samples to be cleared and entered into the electronic health record for disease diagnosis. Terry has been able to meet this new need for the past few months. However, as more cases are entering the histology lab, cases have started to become backlogged. Additionally, the histology lab hours are restricted to business hours; this has severely impacted the processing of histology samples. Terry is worried that the approval process is not efficient and that perhaps a second senior histology lab technician should be hired to meet around-the-clock demand.
As a current or future health care administrator, how might you address the productivity lag in the histology lab in the scenario?
For this Assignment, review Case 2, “Noninvasive Cardiovascular Laboratory” in Chapter 8 of the text, Managing Health Services Organizations and Systems. Reflect on how you, as a current or future health care administrator, might be required to identify opportunities to improve productivity in an HSO. What types of information might you need to gather? How might you identify whether a process improvement opportunity exists? Then, review the Week 3 Case Questions document in this week’s Learning Resources to complete the Assignment.
The Assignment (3–5 pages):
Complete the case questions presented.
Create a fish bone diagram and a flow diagram that represent an analysis of the processes for improvement and implementation approaches to support your answers to the case questions.
Be sure to support your answers with support from the literature.