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We do What??? . Workflow Analysis: Essential to EHR Implementation. Definitions. What Is Workflow?. Workflow describes the way things get done in your practice. Another way to think of it is defining what processes are in place to get the work done in your practice everyday.

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We do what

We do What???

Workflow Analysis: Essential to EHR Implementation

What is workflow

What Is Workflow?

Workflow describes the way things get done in your practice.

Another way to think of it is defining what processes are in place to get the work done in your practice everyday.

Workflow is the summary of all of the processes in your practice.

We re not in kansas anymore

We’re Not In Kansas Anymore

When you purchase an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system, the greatest mistake you can make with implementation is to assume that you are merely replacing paper with electronics!

Look at what you do now

Look At What You Do Now

When you implement an EHR, every aspect of your practice will be touched, and every aspect will (more than likely) be altered in some manner.

It is important to understand your current processes before you can identify areas where an EHR will have an impact on how work gets done in your practice.

An example

An Example

Now-when an established patient checks in

The Future-when a patient checks in

Define what you do processes

Define What You Do: Processes

When you are looking at how something happens at your practice, you need to define:

The Beginning

The End

And All The Steps In-Between

What does that mean

What Does that Mean?

But there is more detail

But There is More Detail

Rebate check received

Take Cash

Process at your clinic

Process At Your Clinic

What do you need to know?

Description of the activity taking place

Staff and physical resources

Data-clinic versus non-clinical

what is it, and how is it recorded

Is order entry involved?

Are any outputs needed (forms, contacts, etc.)?

Reminders and alerts

Processes to think about

Processes to Think About

New Patients

Call in for information on the practice

New patient calls to schedule an appointment-physician referred

-self referred

-result of testing clinic




Periodic health maintenance

Lab draw or review


Acute visit (symptoms)



Walk in


Put it all together

Put It All Together

When you add all of your processes together, you get a description of workflow

It is important to recognize that within workflow, one process can impact others-be cognizant of impacts

Example workflow

Example Workflow

Labeling what your currently do

Labeling What Your Currently Do

Process and workflow mapping is a measurement of what IS

You need to know what you currently do in your practice before you can make any changes or look to see how the purchase of an EHR will impact practice operations

To fix or not to fix

To Fix or Not To Fix

Implementing an EHR will impact everything you do!

The question becomes, do you want to fix a current process or workflow to make it optimal prior to EHR implementation?

The answer is: get optimal now!

Getting optimal

Getting Optimal

Something simple can change…but if you do it to best practices now, you won’t have to change much later.

A couple of examples:

  • Collection of past balances due

  • Verification of demographics and insurance information

Try it

Try It

Take a process:

  • referrals,

  • prescription refills,

  • patient check-in

    and map it out!

    This doesn’t have to be fancy-paper and sticky notes, but you will want to keep all the processes you map together to get an overall picture of your workflow.

Try it1

Try It

Step 1: Determine the Boundaries

  • Where does a process begin and end

    Step 2: List the Steps

  • Use a verb to start the task description

  • The flow chart can either show the sufficient information to understand the general process flow or detail every finite action and decision point

    Step 3: Sequence the steps

  • Use post-it notes so you can move task

  • Do not draw arrows until later

Try it2
Try It




Source: Iowa State



Contact Information:

Matt Guy

Quality Improvement Coach