Your primary care physician operates a sound business practice that, at times, seems to suffer from several forms of waste. In your role as a dedicated patient engaged in the study of operations management, you are in a unique position to offer an analysis of your doctor’s business operation to recommend improvements.
Consider the common interpretation of service processes in use at many organizations, which is used to identify four variants of a service process:
- The process that is formally defined and recorded in a business document.
- The process that everyone generally believes exists.
- The process as it actually exists.
- The process that should exist to deliver what the customer really wants.
Using your arrival at the doctor’s office as a starting point in the process, create a document that focuses on the process of visiting your doctor for a flu shot. Be sure your document incorporates the following:
- Introduction – describe what you intend to do and how you will approach the task.
- A simple flowchart that maps the sequence of operations for variant #1 and/or #2 above. While you may need to make certain assumptions in your description of variants #1 and #2, your process map should include, at a minimum, all components of the process that are visible to the patient. You may choose to combine your analysis of the first two variants due to lack of information on either one.
- A flowchart that maps the process that actually exists (variant #3).
- A flowchart that maps the process according to variant #4, as you believe it should be.
- Above each flowchart, include a paragraph describing the key process components and identify potential problems or elements of waste in the process map that follows.
From the list of successful techniques for eliminating waste in service companies in this week’s readings, select three that you feel are appropriate in shaping your recommendations for improvement in the doctor’s service process. For each of the three techniques, briefly describe what would need to occur.
Complete your document with a list of three recommended changes, noting the timeframe within which each might be completed and the expected benefit(s) to the doctor’s practice as a result of implementation.
Length: 5-7 pages (excluding the cover sheet, title page, and references) that cover a detailed process plan along with improvements. Be sure to thoroughly explain the process, concerns, and plans to improve. The flow charts will take about a page each, leaving 2-3 pages for a detailed explanation.
References: Include a minimum of five scholarly resources within the last 5 years incorporating process improvement, quality control, and service planning. The majority should be from peer-reviewed journals.
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