Using Process Maps for Quality Assessment and ImprovementGiven the synergistic relationship between process and outcomes, leader-managers and other team members need to evaluate processes related to care delivery, customer service, and other matters in order to diagnose problems and effectively improve quality. A process map is a visual representation that illustrates activities and practices as they occur, which serves as a valuable resource for identifying trouble spots. It is important to note that process maps can also be used for evaluation after an intervention has been implemented. For instance, looking at a process map following an intervention may help leader-managers to note discrepancies between what was planned and what is actually being practiced, or to see that a process has in fact improved, even if the outcomes have not met the targets. In this Discussion, you examine how process mapping could be applied to your Course Project. To prepare:
- Review the Learning Resources, focusing on the use of process maps for improving quality and safety.
- Bring to mind your work on your Course Project thus far. How could you use a process map to diagnose problems and inform strategies for improvement? In addition, think about how using a process map could inform and enhance your data collection efforts.
- Conduct additional research on this topic to support your thinking.
Cookson, D., Read, C., Mukherjee, P., & Cooke, M. (2011). Improving the quality of emergency department care by removing waste using Lean Value Stream mapping. International Journal of Clinical Leadership, 17(1), 25–30. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases. This article demonstrates how a process map can be used to identify waste and promote efficiency, particularly in large departments.
Ford, J. H., Wise, M., & Wisdom, J. P. (2010). A peek inside the box: How information flows through substance abuse treatment agencies. Journal of Technology in Human Services, 28(3), 121–143. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases. The authors of this article establish the importance of using process maps for improving productivity and information flow.
Abubakker, H. T. (2010). Practical guide to creating better looking process maps. Retrieved from http://www.isixsigma.com/tools-templates/process-mapping/practical-guide-creating-better-looking-process-maps/ iSixSigma’s website offers a practical guide with many tips for creating an easy-to-follow process map.
NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement. (2010). Quality and service improvement tools: Process mapping—an overview. Retrieved from http://www.miltonkeynesccg.nhs.uk/resources/uploads/files/NHS%20III%20Handbook%20serviceimprove.pdf The NHS article outlines the importance of process maps and provides a detailed description of how to create a process map.
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