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Using process improvement tools Value added maps In the UK and elsewhere, healthcare providers are increasingly relying on process improvement methodologies such as lean or six sigma, first used in the manufacturing industry to streamline production, increase efficiency and minimise waste.

Design process improvement

Summary Within UK general practice, a number of administrative and clinical roles are fulfilled by the receptionist. Methods and analysis Our work consists of three key phrases that will, first, help us understand the parameters of the role of receptionists, second, the systems and processes they work within, third, identify areas of support for receptionists and recommendations with the potential to increase the efficiency.

Research questions The study aims to answer two main research questions; first, can using work design questionnaires WDQs , VSMs and service blueprints provide a greater understanding of the processes and influences on receptionists in their clinically relevant roles? Research design We will conduct our work in three phases using a standard mixed-methods approach: 78 Phase I : Establish the parameters of the current role of receptionists. Focus groups We will use focus groups of between six and eight participants 81 to explore the issues that emerge from the WDQ and in particular the role of receptionists in the three key tasks of communicating results, booking appointments and providing repeat prescriptions.

Value stream maps The maps will graphically represent each task as a series of steps using various shapes, symbols and colours to provide information on the type of action, the individual involved and any associated values. Service blueprints Service blueprints clarify the interactions between service users, and service employees, including digital contact, the front-of-house activities that involve direct contact with patients, and the backstage activities that the customer does not see, that is, the processes and systems that underpin the delivery of each aspect of the service.

Settings and participants Given the cultural variation that exists across UK practices as independent businesses, 58 it is important to understand how these contextual differences impact on the work of receptionists. Phase I : Primary care practices across England. Data management and analysis Data management Data collected from the focus groups will consist of an audio recording. Analysis of focus groups We will analyse the focus groups in two ways; first, we will use a conventional framework based approach to analyse the focus group data.

Analysis of value stream maps We will use group based deductive analysis of the VSMs to produce service blueprints and otherwise determine areas of strengths and weakness and highlight areas in the process where either delay or failure can be introduced.


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Study outcomes There are a number of key study outcomes related to each of the three phases. Discussion A key strategy of future healthcare is preventive health and effective management of chronic disease placing general practice at the forefront of health service provision in the UK and abroad. Ethics and dissemination Ethics The protocol has been independently reviewed by external reviewers at the Health Foundation.

Dissemination Our work will be disseminated using conferences, workshops, trade journals, electronic media and through a series of publications in the peer reviewed literature. References 1. Donnelly L. Telegraph Moore A. The multi-skilled practice team. Manag Pract ; 44 — Heubl B, Saalfield N. Medcrunch Buchan C, Richardson IM. Receptionists at work. A time study in general practice. J R Coll Gen Pract ; 22 —4. Practice receptionists: poorly trained and taken for granted? Br J Gen Pract ; 38 — NHS Health Careers.

Design Process Improvement: A review of current practice

NHS England Risk reduction in general practice and the role of the receptionist. J Law Med ; 12 —7. Kubacz J. Receptionists owe a duty of care.

Process improvement map for furniture production excellence

Aust Health Law Bulletin ; 10 Managing patient demand: a qualitative study of appointment making in general practice. Br J Gen Pract ; 51 —5. Slaying the dragon myth: an ethnographic study of receptionists in UK general practice.


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    Table of contents

    Silvester K. Arksey H, O'malley L. Scoping studies: towards a methodological framework. Int J Soc Res Methodol ; 8 — Arber S, Sawyer L. Soc Sci Med ; 20 — Eisner M, Britten N. What do general practice receptionists think and feel about their work? Br J Gen Pract ; 49 —6. Where there is no gold standard: mixed method research in a cluster randomised trial of a tool for safe prioritising of patients by medical receptionists.

    Int J Mult Res Approaches ; 5 — Kron J. Frontline Defence. Australian Doctor Medical receptionists in general practice: who needs a nurse? Int J Nurs Pract ; 6 — BMJ Qual Saf ; 25 — Liston A. Gp access—time for a radical solution? Br J Gen Pract ; 63 Hughes D. Paper and people: the work of the casualty reception clerk. Soc Health Illn ; 11 — Lidstone P. Rationing housing to the homeless applicant.

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    Design Process Improvement - A review of current practice | John Clarkson | Springer

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