Discussion: Workflow Modeling

Workflow modeling is widely used throughout many different types of businesses, including health care organizations, to visually summarize the steps of complex processes and systems. When constructing a workflow model, it is important to ensure that the model accurately reflects the actual steps in a process.

In this Discussion, you consider a case study of a health care clinic and its process for ordering medical supplies. You then examine a workflow model that is meant to reflect that process and analyze the model’s accuracy based on the information in the case study. You also analyze the importance of accurate workflow modeling and consider strategies for creating accurate workflow models for health care processes.

Case Study:

Deerborne Dialysis is a local dialysis clinic that is part of a larger health care network, Buckeye Health. Buckeye Health executives have recently been examining the processes by which organizations within the network manage their supplies. Deerborne Dialysis was identified as an exemplary model of efficient supply management, and Buckeye Health executives have requested a workflow model of how Deerborne Dialysis handles their supply management process.

Sharon is the nurse who oversees the process of ordering and stocking supplies for Deerborne Dialysis. She knows the process well and developed a description of the steps in the supply management process. First, Sharon conducts a daily check of the supplies in the storage room. If there is a supply that is running low, Sharon submits an order to the medical supplier. When the clinic receives the shipment, Sharon unpacks the shipment and cross-checks the supplies that were shipped with the supplies that were ordered. If there is a discrepancy, the entire shipment must be returned to the medical supplier, who then rushes a new shipment to the clinic to be received the next day. If there is no discrepancy, or once the new shipment is received, unpacked, and cross-checked, Sharon stocks the shelves in the storage room and gives the supply bill to the clinic’s accountant, who ensures that the medical supplier receives payment.

Sharon has created the following workflow model to reflect the steps she goes through to manage the clinic’s inventory of supplies:

Workflow Model: Deerborne Dialysis Supply Management

To prepare:

  • Review the case study above and examine the workflow model that is meant to reflect the process described in the case study.
  • Identify problems with the workflow model. How could the model be revised to be more accurate, clear, and effective?
  • Reflect on the importance of creating an accurate workflow model of health care processes. What are the challenges involved in workflow modeling? What are the consequences of inaccurate workflow models?
  • Consider strategies that you can use to ensure that workflow models are effective and accurate.

With these thoughts in mind:

Postby tomorrow 9/27/16 a minimum of 550 words essay in APA format with 3 references (References must come from the list provided in the instruction area), addressing the level one headings as numbered below:

1) A summary of at least three specific problems you identified in the workflow model.

2) Describe how the model could be revised to address those problems.

3) Analyze the importance of accuracy and clarity in workflow modeling, and describe at least one strategy you plan to use to ensure that the workflow models you create are accurate and clear.

Required Readings

Dennis, A., Wixom, B. H., & Roth, R. M. (2015). Systems analysis and design (6th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

  • Chapter 5, “Process Modeling” (pp. 153–186)

 This chapter introduces the most common process-modeling techniques. In particular, there is emphasis on the data flow diagram and how it is developed and used.

Helmers, S. (2011). Microsoft Visio 2010 step by step. Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly.

  • Chapter 3, “Adding Sophistication to your Drawing” (pp. 69–110)

 This chapter focuses on creating a diagram that is both professional and accurate. Topics covered include adding and using text boxes, inserting fields, and grouping shapes.

  • Chapter 4, “Drawing the Real World: Flowcharts and Organization Charts” (pp. 111–142)

 The focus of this chapter is creating accurate flowcharts and organization charts. It explains how to create and use swimlanes. It also covers the development of organization charts and how they can be stylized.

  • Chapter 5, “Adding Style, Color, and Themes” (pp. 143–170)

 This chapter demonstrates how to change the color, types of lines, and over all format of a drawing. It also covers the use of Visio themes.

Benyoucef, M., Kuziemsky, C., Rad, A. A., & Elsabbahi, A. (2011). Modeling healthcare processes as service orchestrations and choreographies. Business Process Management Journal, 17(4), 568–597.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

 Remodeling health IT systems for optimal health care delivery requires an assessment of both the health care organization and the usability of the available technology. This article evaluates ways of combining web-service-based health care processes to best suit the needs of service-specific health care organizations.

Unertl, K. M., Weigner, M. B., Johnson, K.B., & Lorenzi, N. M. (2009). Describing and modeling workflow and information flow in chronic disease care. Journal of American Medical Informatics Association, 16(6), 826–836.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

 This article evaluates how workflow and work practices in chronic disease care can be improved through the use of informatics tools. It also focuses on studies that discern potential real-world benefits of health information technology (HIT).

Vankipuram, M., Kahol, K., Cohen, T., & Patel, V. L. (2011). Toward automated workflow analysis and visualization in clinical environments. Journal of Biomedical Informatics, 44(3), 432–440.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

 In this article, the authors offer a framework for improving workflow analysis. It combines cognitive decision making, movement, and interaction and communication. The authors used a combination of qualitative and quantitative research practices to gather the data for analysis.

Required Media

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2012d). A workflow diagram. Baltimore, MD: Author.

 This multimedia piece continues to build on the scenario introduced in Week 1. In this segment, the health care facility creates a workflow diagram with assessment that maps the current workflow.

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