root cause analysis using flow charts to understand complex processes
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Root Cause Analysis: Using flow charts to understand complex processes. Why flowchart?. A flowchart is a visual aid to help map complex workflows. Flowcharts help to: Understand actual work processes, as compared to policies or “official” workflows

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Presentation Transcript
why flowchart

Why flowchart?

A flowchart is a visual aid to help map complex workflows.

Flowcharts help to:

Understand actual work processes, as compared to policies or “official” workflows

Identify conflicting perspectives on workflows, especially where processes are handed off from one stakeholder to another

Identify inefficiencies, redundancies, gaps, and likely breakdowns in the processes or system

flowchart basics
Order is received from health facility

Flowchart Basics

Warehouse staff pick items to fill the order

Start and end points

Are the requested supplies available?

Each step in the process

Three basic shapes are used to plot a flow chart:

  • Decision point

yes

Order is packed at the warehouse

no

Order status recorded in warehouse log

incorporating multiple perspectives

Incorporating Multiple Perspectives

For complex processes, like a national supply chain system, one person will probably not know the whole system from the beginning to the end, and never would one single person be involved at all steps of the process.

Finding all the involved parties in order to understand every step in detail can be difficult and time consuming.

using flowcharts in project planning

Using Flowcharts in Project Planning

In supply chain management, understanding both inbound (request/ordering) and outbound (delivery) logistics is crucial to the project.

The following simple steps provide a guide for using flowcharts to formulate a project work plan, using the Tanzanian medical supply chain as an example.

step 1 understand the overall work flow

Step 1. Understand the overall work flow

Each of these organizations has its own workflow

Start by identifying the organizational structure or departments involved in the process.

For example, in Tanzania, medication was going from the central Medical Stores Department (MSD), to District Medical Offices (DMO) and to health facilities.

MSD

Zonal Warehouse

DMO

Hospital

Health center

Dispensary

step 2 map the detailed work process
Every 3 months

Compare ledgers in all departments

Step 2: Map the detailed work process

Determine stock on hand

Determine consumption in past 3 months

Estimate order

Complete ILS Order Form

After identifying the involved departments or organizations, map the detailed work process of each of these groups.

For example, this is a flow chart for the medication ordering process at a health center.

Review the details of each step, and the documents and personnel involved.

Also make sure the end of one step links up with the beginning of the next step for a reliable handoff.

Adjust order according to budget

Deliver to DMO pharmacist

DMO approval

Submit order to MSD for processing

step 3 what can a flow chart tell you
Every 3 months

Step 3: What can a flow chart tell you?

Compare ledgers in all departments

Determine stock on hand

What about supplies needed during a stockout?

Determine consumption in past 3 months

Estimate order

A well-plotted flowchart enables you to see if redundancy or inadequacy exist in the process.

Complete ILS Order Form

What is the method for determining what gets cut?

Adjust order according to budget

Deliver to DMO pharmacist

These gaps and questions suggest avenues for possible interventions.

DMO approval

Submit order to MSD for processing

step 4 what is not evident in a flow chart
Every 3 months

Compare ledgers in all departments

Step 4: What is NOT evident in a flow chart?

Determine the discrepancy between the actual need

and the amount consumed

Determine stock on hand

Determine consumption in past 3 months

Estimate order

The flowchart may highlight the breakdown, but it does not indicate severity or frequency.

Next step: formulate your work plan to continue to fill in gaps in your root cause analysis.

Complete ILS Order Form

Determine the discrepancy

between the amount ordered

and what the budget allowed

Adjust order according to budget

Deliver to DMO pharmacist

DMO approval

Submit order to MSD for processing

in summary flowcharts can

In summary, flowcharts can…

Help you understand complex processes

Bring together perspectives across units or departments

Identify breakdowns and redundancies

Highlight possible interventions

Shape further questioning during the root cause analysis

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