Monday, February 9, 2015

Process Mapping in Ghana

Emily Aaronson
Emergency Medicine

After a week of orienting to the Emergency Department, I started in on my project in earnest this week. The objective of identifying opportunities to improve the process, and thus create more capacity, was met with enthusiasm almost uniformly. I was able to complete several process mapping sessions this week – with the accounts staff, medical officers and front line nurses, all of whom seemed excited to engage in the project and interested in the methodology.

Our findings are very encouraging – that there are many areas of the process that – once mapped out and through structured discussion - are redundant, prone to error or un necessary. Each group also offered many creative ideas for how the processes could be improved and solutions for some of the barriers they identified.

I will now work to translate the walls of post-its into Lucid Chart (great process mapping software) and then circle back with each of the groups and see if there area any other areas we are missing. I am working with the clinical coordinator to help vet my findings, and put a report together with some suggestions based on the staff’s ideas, on how to improve the workflow.

Ultimately the hope is that by identifying the areas of the process that can be streamlined, reducing the waste and redundancies, we are able to move patients through the department more quickly, and thus increase the capacity of the (always crowded!) ER and the capacity of the staff to care for their patients.

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