Care Mapping Q&A

Q: What exactly is care mapping, and is it known by any other names?

A: “A care map is called a clinical flow process or a patient flow process. It can be used in benchmarking to look at performance flow processes. It’s taking a component of what you’re doing for a patient, outlining who is involved.”

Q: When do we make a care map?

A: “The minute you decide you’re going to have an occupational health program, start evaluating the services you’re able to provide clients. Break down each of the services and identify who is involved in each process, how the patient is going to access the program, what forms will be used, who is responsible for filling them out and what testing will be involved.“

A: “Look at the registration process, how the medical assistant is going to admit that patient – there may be special processes in place you have to be aware of.”

A: “Care mapping is good for physical exams such as spirometry or physician examinations and substance abuse testing. It provides a great outline for what the clinic should expect and how to proceed with that.”

Q: What do you realistically have to do to carve out the energy to care map? And what is the basic value statement for doing this?

A: “Bring your entire team into the development of a care map. Ask your registration staff what steps are taken to care for the patient from entrance until they are admitted. Ask the M.A. what their role is, then the physician, etc. Then define the role for follow-up visits, which leads to the billing person. This needs to be looked at as a team endeavor. Everyone should establish a care map for the key services youprovide.”

A: “Show that you are efficient in your operational processes; care mapping does that. It ensures that a patient is coming in and going out in a timely manner, ensuring that you won’t have to go back and redo something you missed. There’s role clarification, it looks at processing and helps avoid bottlenecks.”

Q: What are the most important care mapping metrics?

A: “Standards of care within the clinic structure.”A: “Productivity. If we are providing excellent patient flow, this ensures there is no lag time so we can be sure each staff member is working at their optimal efficiency.”

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