Numerous HCOs nowadays are being pressured to make effective improvements in quality of care, efficiency, and cost, however, this is being difficult to do. In order to achieve these improvements, it would be beneficial to implement business process management (BPM). BPM include process modeling and data flow diagrams (DFDs) (Jun, Ward, Morris, & Clarkson, 2009; Kemsley, n.d.
). Kemsley (n.d.
) further states that applying BPM in health care can:• impose standard processes and protocols in order to decrease number of errors; this leads to the improved patient safety;• automate scheduling notifications; this leaves clinicians more time so they can focus on patient care;predict and prevent resource bottlenecks before they happen;reduce waste within processes (reduces wait time, inventory, and resources);reduce administrative paperwork, etc. On the other hand, DFD in healthcare shows how data moves through the information systems that the healthcare organization plans to implement, for instance EHR, and where these information is stored (Tilley & Rosenblatt, 2017). Implementing EHR/EMR in a large hospital is very complex process, since it involves large amount of medical data, many “data entry problems, security and confidentiality concerns, and a general lack of awareness of the benefits of IT” (Grimson, Grimson, & Hasselbring, 2000). As per Boonstra and Govers (2009), there are three main reasons why implementation of a new information system is so difficult in a hospital.
Firstly, hospitals have many purposes, including treating and taking care of patients, as well as providing training for hospital employees (Boonstra & Govers, 2009). Secondly, hospital processes are complicated (Boonstra & Govers, 2009). Lastly, hospitals have many employees with various backgrounds (Boonstra & Govers, 2009). All these characteristics should be taken in consideration before implementing EHR/EMR in HCO. Using DFD when designing a new system provides numerous benefits.
For instance, DFDs can present system components to great details (Tilley & Rosenblatt, 2017). Additionally, DFDs are easy to learn and understand to technical and nontechnical audiences, since it uses only four symbols that represent “processes, data flows, data stores, and entities” (Le Vie, n.d.; Tilley & Rosenblatt, 2017). Also, DFDs help in explaining the scope, boundaries and connections to other systems (Le Vie, n.d.
). In addition to many advantages, there are also some disadvantages to using DFDs when designing a new system. For instance, Le Vie (n.d.) states that it can be “cumbersome, difficult to translate and read” DFDs for complex systems. In addition, designing DFDs for complex systems can be time consuming (Tilley & Rosenblatt, 2017). Besides, data flow can be quite perplexing to programmers (Le Vie, n.
d.). In conclusion, process modeling and data flow diagrams can add a great value to healthcare processes.