The overarching aim of Workflow Optimisation is:
To ensure that correspondence management is done by the most appropriate member of the team in order to enhance GP capacity to practice as an Expert Medical Generalist.
In order to be prepared for the work that lies ahead, using a readiness tool can be helpful.
This readiness tool has been developed as part of the collaborative and can help practices establish:
- current state of play within the practice
- the motivation of staff within the practice to develop, test and implement Workflow Optimisation, and
- practice resources and abilities to develop, test and implement Workflow Optimisation.
There are a number of steps to consider before embarking on this work:
- Step 1: Establish a project team in your practice
- Who is in your project team?
- When are you going to meet (how regularly)?
- How are you going to communicate?
- How are you going to communicate with wider practice team?
- Step 2: Carry out a baseline audit
“To measure is to know – rather than assume – what to improve, where to improve and whether you are successful in your efforts to improve.”
– Ross Davies, Data & Measurement Advisor, Healthcare Improvement Scotland
In order to know your current state and whether you have a problem that can be improved, it is important to carry out a baseline audit to establish the following:
- How many documents are received into the practice on a daily basis?
- How many documents are currently sent to the GP for review?
- If not all documents are sent to the GP, what documents are not sent and why?
Note: this audit should ideally be carried out over at least a week in order to capture any daily changes in activity.
- Step 3: Understand your current system and processes
Every team member will have some knowledge of how their practice’s processes work. In order to ensure an accurate reflection of how processes work in practice, it is helpful to chart your existing system with your team. This can be done by process mapping.
The benefits of process mapping:
- to capture and visually represent all the steps in an existing process
- to show everyone in a team how a process works in practice now, rather than what they think is happening
- to help identify change ideas for improvement
- to visually represent a new process, and
- to assist team building as all team members should be involved in accurately capturing the existing process and the design of any new process.
For more information on process mapping and its benefits click here
- Step 4: Identify your resources and what you need
Process mapping your local system should help you identify your existing resources and those you need. These should include:
- what current protocols you have for workflow optimisation
- consideration of staffing - job title and change of roles and you may require additional administrative staff to implement this work
- contacting your indemnity provider to discuss proposed work and consider any practice implications
- IT systems, and
- dedicated workspace.
- Step 5: Identify and provide staff education
Identifying the staff education needed to progress this work is crucial. Providing training and education for practice administrative staff can result in staff feeling empowered and give them a sense of responsibility and ownership of the work.