How Can You Make Processes Reliable? (Part 2 of 5)

Frank Federico, RPh, IHI Executive Director

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Learning Objectives: At the end of this activity, you will be able to:
  • Discuss the steps a team should take to create a reliable design for a process or system.
  • Explain how to find a subset or group that will serve as a good test for designing a reliable process.
  • Recognize the value of creating a flow diagram when trying to design a reliable process.

Description: Deciding you need reliable processes is a good first step, but how can you can move from intention to action? In Part 2 of this five-part series, IHI Executive Director Frank Federico, RPh, discusses the importance when designing reliable processes of starting small, finding a population subset, and visualizing a system.

Discussion Questions:
  1. When designing a reliable process or system, why does Frank recommend starting with a small test? Have you ever conducted a test and wished you’d made it smaller?
  2. Think of a daily process in your work or school. What population is involved in that process? If you wanted to make a change to the process, what subset of the population would you start with?
  3. Why are flow diagrams helpful when designing a reliable process or system? What other visual tools do you know of that can help with process improvement?
  4. Have you ever designed a process or system with reliability in mind? What barriers did you encounter? Were you successful in your design?
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