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Discussion of Work Flowcharts in Healthcare

Discussion of Work Flowcharts in Healthcare

Workflow diagram is of importance in the state-of-art management. Simply put, a workflow is a graphical representation of the flow of tasks in the process and associated sub-processes, including specific works, information dependencies, and the sequence of decisions and practices. The workflow is the way information received to various objects involved in the process. In particular, the way documents are delivered to employees.Discussion of Work Flowcharts in Healthcare

Flowchart and Analysis

In the paper, the work flowchart will focus on healthcare, namely an easy but effective patient check-in. To highlight these procedures more, a patient is already registered in the EHR system and set for an appointment with a nurse/physicians. Many hospital systems have adopted an electronic health record (EHR) systems, but the rate of adoption has been prolonged in the case of individual or small-group offices (Ramiah et al., 2012). Therefore, the work flowchart reveals a step-by-step plan on how to manage patient flow successfully.Discussion of Work Flowcharts in Healthcare


The flowchart for patient healthcare is crucial and requires rigorous steps which can improve the patient’s check-in. Managers of healthcare practices of all sizes and types increasingly recognize that effective patient flow is key to increasing revenue and improving efficiency for the practice and providing a positive experience for the patient (Medical Economics, 2014). First of all, it is necessary to give a call to a patient for scheduling the check-in and point to a specific physician. When a patient arrives and checks in, a nurse will perform the leading role before calling the physician for more in-depth examination and closing the encounter. A nurse verifies the patient’s information (such as ID card and demographic data which registered in electronic system before making an appointment), then goes to a clinic room to check up essentials, exam room where a nurse checks the past health record and update it according to the examination by logging into the workplace, where all EHR are stored. In the end, she passes a patient to a physician.

The third section of the work flowchart is the physician’ function. The most significant step is to perform a physical examination to put all relevant and up-to-date health information in the EHR system. While the physical exam, a nurse reviews the completed encounter form, writes down vitals, and so forth. Once a nurse finishes, a physician completes the exam, write recommendations, treatment, instructions for a further period. Ultimately, a physician fulfills the chart and returns it to a nurse. At the end of the appointment, a patient passes by the front desk to schedule any return visit. When the lab analyses are ready, a nurse puts them on the patient’s chart. Consequently, she/he calls or writes an e-mail to a patient to notify about the results.

It is necessary to bring out Six Sigma which is responsible for the improvement in management or strategic plan. Six Sigma comprises various techniques and tools for enhancing quality methods. In other words, it links to the Plan-Do-Study-Act Cycle, which consists of five steps: define, measure, analyze, improve, and control (Lighter, 2013). Six Sigma always use charts or diagrams to plan the process since it is more visible from different angles. Although the current work flowchart shows the overall process, the outcomes sometimes turn out to be false and unfavorable:Discussion of Work Flowcharts in Healthcare

    1. A medical chart can be lost. It occurs most of the time in healthcare, and it takes ages to find it among all stuff. Thus it would be easier to make an electronic chart embodies within patient’s EHR so that a physician (or a nurse being beside the physician) can fill in the chart without losing it.
    2. The clumsy handwriting. Sometimes a nurse prescribes something wrong when she/he fails to understand the physician’s handwriting. With the E-Medication Administration, it is much easier for a nurse to see the full drug information reducing the medical error due to writing (or even when a nurse reviews and consults about allergies and past drugs).
  1. Patient’s complaint about filling in the application in the waiting room. A new plan consists of filling in the encounter in an online form. For instance, when talking to a patient over a phone to schedule the appointment, a front desk agent can send an email with the application; hence, when a patient arrives, he/she should not fill in the encounter and can be escorted directly to the exam room. Some of the hospitals have already approved ‘no waiting’ plan, i.e., there is no waiting room, and a patient goes to the exam room right away.

Healthcare should be precise and out of errors because humans’ lives are precious. Therefore, DMAIC is of importance for every organization. The workflow can be overwhelming and puzzling both for healthcare officials and patients due to various reasons.Admittedly, everybody should be in charge of their activities. The workflow chart shows the two main sectors, which are nurse and physician’s functions. It is essential to be aware of own duties and ways to complete the appropriate and precise job.


The sections show different functions which should be executed by the nurse and physician since they are responsible for various tasks.  However, sometimes these tasks are mixed causing misunderstanding and chaos. For instance, in the analysis, it has mentioned that a nurse fails to transcribe the medication due to a physician’s handwriting. It implies that a physician should do it to avoid any medical errors or mishaps which occur quite often.

The work flowchart cannot be successful without a rigorous plan and steps. Although diagrams show the main activities, it sometimes misses out the significant details, which should be reduced or eliminated. Therefore, an organization should pay close attention to the technology, methods, techniques, and duties to complete tasks in the best way.Discussion of Work Flowcharts in Healthcare


“5 ways to improve patient flow.” (2014). Medical Economics. Retrieved from

Lee VS, Miller T, Daniels C, Paine M, Gresh B, Betz AL. (2016). Creating the exceptional patient experience in one academic health system. Acad Med., 91:338–44,  doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000001007

Lighter, D. (2013). Basics of Health Care Performance Improvement: A Lean Six Sigma Approach. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett. Chapter 7. pp 234-239.

O’Brien, L.K. et al. (2017). Improving Responsiveness to Patient Phone Calls. J Patient Exp., 4(3): 101–107, doi:  10.1177/2374373517706611

Ramaiah, M. et al. (2012). Workflow and Electronic Health Records in Small Medical Practices. Perspect Health Inf Manag., 9: 1d.Discussion of Work Flowcharts in Healthcare



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