Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Just Call Me Ms. Fix-It! (But What If It IS Broken, Part 2)



The above is a Process Flow Diagram (aka SwimLanes) for the check-in process at the clinic. (See this post for a description of the challenges we face.) I built this in Excel because the money we'd spend for a tool like Visio will buy 8 bottles of insulin. And it's okay, because Excel actually worked pretty well.

Each band on the diagram represents a role -- patient, front-desk worker, charge nurse, doctor, etc. -- in the process. We've been using it for a couple of weeks now and things have gotten a lot smoother. On Thursday night (which is always the worst, for some reason) we had completed check-in and triage by quarter after six. I'm pretty sure that's a record.

Not sure why I'm sharing this with you, other than I LOVE doing this -- taking something that's broken and crappy and making a thing of beauty from it. A lot of people like new stuff -- new houses, new furniture -- but I'm a sucker for reclaimable junk.

The need to fix things: just one more form of co-dependency.

17 comments:

lizspin said...

I'm still using the vacuum cleaner my husband had when we married 22 years ago. . . he keeps fixing the damn thing!

K said...

I love it too.

I make a lot of process maps (in excel) for my part time job. It always feels good to improve the flow of work.

K said...

(oh - I forgot to add, I haven't heard a peep out of Belle in nearly a month. I miss her.)

Jan said...

It is nice to feel like you have accomplished something. Our new administrator starts June 1st. Hope she is up to the task!

Renee said...

I'm glad you shared it and I think you should be very proud of what you have done there.

Love Renee xoxo

Mad Texter said...

I am an admirer of process, as this is what I do on a daily basis(you know, at the job they actually pay me for, instead of blogging.)

You did this in Excel? Heavenstomergatroy! This is fantastic...very creative, eeeeven.

I'm a whiz at Excel, but didn't know you could craft a piece of art like this with that program.

buffalodick said...

Change is fun when you do it...Not so fun when it is done to you...
Getting people to "buy in" is a bigger job than the changes!

Chef E said...

Okay my head is spinning...I am horrible in Excel...

Andrea said...

I love process improvement too...it's a sick obsession of mine but I won't give it up, I tell you! :) Love your map!!!

Lilly said...

Woo hoo good on you. Now work out how many steps you ave saved and how much money you have saved and go ask for a payrise. We do so many things we dont need to and if you love this work you could find a new career too! Well done Jeanne.

Coffee with Cathy said...

Jeanne -- Would you please come to my house and do this for me? Thank you!

buffalodick said...

What I love about the world is the fact that people are different..If we all saw it the same way, we would live in an ant hill, or a hive. Coming from product engineering and technical sales, I tend to paint with a broad brush- concept guy... People who can organize anything are much appreciated by people like me! No matter what I've accomplished, I will always admire people who could do what I couldn't...

Comedy Goddess said...

That's a great talent! I am not so gifted, but I love a guy in a tool belt.

Debbie said...

I love the fact that you are a fixer. Very interesting.

Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

Okay, Ms Rocket Scientist..(as you can see, I'm still smarting from not being able to see 3 nude women!!!)

smiles4u said...

I totally understand the need to fix things. I'm glad that you are doing something you enjoy doing!

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

You are pure awesomeness. I only wish I could be as good as you at stuff like this.

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