Discussion: Understanding Workflow Design
As you explored last week, the implementation of a new technology can dramatically affect the workflow of an organization. Newly implemented technologies can initially limit the productivity of users as they adjust to their new tools. Such implementations tend to be so significant that they often require workflows to be redesigned in order to achieve improvements in safety and patient outcomes. However, before workflows can be redesigned, they must first be analyzed. This analysis includes each step in completing a certain process. Some systems duplicate efforts or contain unnecessary steps that waste time and money and could even jeopardize patient health care. By reviewing and modifying the workflow, you enable greater productivity. This drive to implement new technologies has elevated the demand for nurses who can perform workflow analysis.
In this Discussion you explore resources that have been designed to help guide you through the process of workflow assessment.
- Take a few minutes and peruse the information found in the article “Workflow Assessment for Health IT Toolkit” listed in this week’s Learning Resources.
- As you check out the information located on the different tabs, identify key concepts that you could use to improve a workflow in your own organization and consider how you could use them.
- Go the Research tab and identify and read one article that is of interest to you and relates to your specialty area
For this week you should provide a summary of three different tools you found in “Workflow Assessment for Health IT Toolkit” that would help in redesigning a workflow in the organization in which you work (or one with which you are familiar) and describe how you would apply them. Here is the link to the AHRQ’s Workflow Assessment for Health IT Toolkit http://healthit.ahrq.gov/health-it-tools-and-resources/workflow-assessment-health-it-toolkit and a link to the specific tools https://healthit.ahrq.gov/health-it-tools-and-resources/workflow-assessment-health-it-toolkit/all-workflow-tools
Then you would select an article in the Research tab related to your topic, summarize the article you selected, and assess how you could use the information to improve workflow within your organization. Finally, you will evaluate the importance of monitoring the effect of technology on workflow.
On the AHRQ site, on the left hand navigation bar you will see a link to Research, here is the direct link
McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2015). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (3rd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning.
- Chapter 14, “Nursing Informatics: Improving Workflow and Meaningful Use”
This chapter reviews the reasons for conducting workflow analysis and design. The author explains specific workflow analysis and redesign techniques.
Huser, V., Rasmussen, L. V., Oberg, R., & Starren, J. B. (2011). Implementation of workflow engine technology to deliver basic clinical decision support functionality. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 11(1), 43–61.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
In this article, the authors describe an implementation of workflow engine technology to support clinical decision making. The article describes some of the pitfalls of implementation, along with successful and future elements.
Koppel, R., & Kreda, D. A. (2010). Healthcare IT usability and suitability for clinical needs: Challenges of design, workflow, and contractual relations. Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, 157, 7–14.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
This article points to many health information technology designs and workflow decisions that limit their value and usage. The authors also examine the structure of the conceptual relationships between HIT vendors and the clinical facilities that purchase HIT.
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (n.d.b). Workflow assessment for health IT toolkit. Retrieved, June 18, 2012, from http://healthit.ahrq.gov/portal/server.pt/community/health_it_tools_and_resources/919/workflow_assessment_for_health_it_toolkit/27865
This article supplies a toolkit on the planning, design, implementation, and use of health information technology. The sections of the website provide a definition of workflow, examples of workflow tools, related anecdotes, and research.
Post a summary of three different concepts you found in “Workflow Assessment for Health IT Toolkit” that would help in redesigning a workflow in the organization in which you work (or one with which you are familiar) and describe how you would apply them. Next, summarize the article you selected and assess how you could use the information to improve workflow within your organization. Finally, evaluate the importance of monitoring the effect of technology on workflow.
Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses. Focus particularly on questions raised for which you can add comments based on your experiences or situations. Consider how your colleagues’ postings reflect and/or differ from your own perceptions and opinions. Review the Learning Resources for any clarification needed before responding.