Hospitals and other healthcare providers deal with many other problems apart from the treatment of sick patients;including service delivery problems, problems with management and people, logistics, maintenance and resource allocation problems. Unfortunately, the majority of the time very little tools are used by staff to resolve these problems. Then, problems more often than not remain unsolved due to the reliance of personal styles, subjective approaches and qualitative approaches. Most of the methods and tools used by manufacturing and service industries to solve quality problems can be applied in problem solving in health care. These simple tools have proven effective in dramatically reducing if not eliminating defects, failures, wastes, and customer complaints in these businesses.
Flowcharts can be used to clearly show the flow of people, services and information in a hospital. It can show the flow of service in a hospital, beginning with the admission of patients and ending with satisfied and healthy people.
It also lists the types of services each unit must deliver for the hospital to create total customer satisfaction. The flowchart also conveys that message that everybody works towards a common goal. It shows the flow of services from one hospital unit- the department of laboratories – to the rest of the organization and eventually to the patients. A flowchart shows that if there is any failure in the service to any department that it will result in a dissatisfied of unhealthy patient.
Flowcharts can show areas of responsibility as well as areas where some improvement may be needed. A flowchart in a clinic, for example, can show that a client registration process takes up 30 minutes. If the 30 minute registration time were to be reduced further, the flowchart can help analyze which step or steps to eliminate, combine, or simplify. A flowchart can show how nurses respond to a patient call.
The use of flowcharts within healthcare is extremely useful and ensures that the system is kept in perfect working order.