Process and Procedure Documentation Enhances Operation Across the Enterprise
Client’s Challenge: Address the need to develop and share functional documentation to improve operational efficiency and effectiveness
Healthcare providers play a pivotal role in society. They are under constant pressure to provide quality services demanded by customers. In an effort to remain competitive these services must be delivered efficiently, effectively, and within competitive cost constraints. A critical component that drives cost effective delivery of services are consistent processes and procedures.
Processes and procedures translate how people, equipment, facilities, and technology are utilized to deliver services to customers. Processes and procedures are a key element which organizations can control and directly impacts every customer transaction within the organization. It is essential that this information is documented, understood within the organization, adhered to, and executed effectively and efficiently.
The information technology department of a large healthcare company realized the need for additional documentation of processes and procedures. A key goal was to leverage a shared understanding across the enterprise, provide consistency, and create documentation to enhance cross functional training.
PM&A’s extensive experience in process and procedure documentation and improvement provided the skills mix necessary for the project. PM&A was selected to assist with the challenge.
PM&A consultants worked with client management to define the scope of the project. Approximately 50+ processes and procedures that needed to be documented were related to user provisioning and security maintenance. PM&A consultants worked directly with client SMEs to understand LAN user provisioning, mainframe user provisioning, LAN monitoring, and user group maintenance.
PM&A developed high level process maps for each of the processes. As the information was developed, it was reviewed by the SMEs to ensure accuracy. When a final draft was ready, PM&A conducted walkthrough review sessions to include SMEs and Information Technology management. These review sessions provided a shared and
common understanding of the process/procedure, generated feedback as to how the existing process impacted external departments, and stimulated ideas for future process improvement opportunities.
Impact on Client’s Business
The resulting documentation had a positive impact on client operations.
Improved and consistent customer service – well documented processes and procedures provided operational consistency. Customers understood the process and knew what to expect, ultimately enhancing the department’s reputation.
Cross-training tools – limited cross-training of employees can strain operations if staff are absent and replacement staff are not trained to fill in. Documentation provides base tools that can be used to cross-train staff across the department.
Shared understanding – team review sessions helped to ensure that staff and management both had a common understanding of processes and procedures, and knew what was expected. In addition, it provided management with a view to ensure alignment with management goals.
Baseline for process improvement – process improvement requires a baseline to answer the question “as compared to what?” The resulting documentation provided a foundation for improvement.
Compliance with organizational policies – completed documentation also helped to reduce the risk of non-compliance pertaining to organizational policies as well as laws and regulations.
Training – materials were organized electronically in a library that could be easily accessed by new hires or transferred staff for training purposes and to get up to speed on a new job.