Business Process Management and Reengineering

When should you reevaluate your business processes?

The correct answer is always. You should constantly be analyzing your business processes as part of a continuous improvement program.

However, an especially opportune moment to examine your processes is during any sort of major change, such as a software project. A new EHR/EMR, ERP, or other such software project presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to review and streamline processes, improve quality, and lowers costs. On average, county and municipal governments change their enterprise software about once every 15 years but we've seen organizations that have squeezed 25 - 30 years out of a system. In general, this means they haven't updated their processes in at least that amount of time. If you have a 30-year old system, your processing is almost entirely manual.

In behavioral health, organizations are currently being forced into changes, so the opportunity to reinvent your processes is enormous. New EHRs, data warehouses, HIEs, DSRIPs, and BHCCs all present enormous opportunities to provide your clients with better services while lowering costs, but you may have to travel through a minefield to get there.

One situation we often encounter is where staff members in an organization tell us, "We want to do everything the same as we do it now; we just want new software." That's a wasted opportunity but organizations do it all the time. Implementing dysfunctional processes in a new system won't produce magical performance or quality gains -- it won't do much at all for you. The best managers seize the moment and use projects to align their processes with their management goals.  

 

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