The value of gap analysis in Core Process

The Nurse and Core Process

Senior VP of Nursing Becky Pinney

by Becky Pinney, Senior VP of Nursing

The first section of the Corizon Health Core Process Program was deployed to the field in the 3rd quarter of this year. We began with intake and ordering and receiving medications. The initial step in launching the program was to take a careful look at all aspects of these processes as they were being performed prior to Core Process. To do this, each facility was asked to perform a “Gap Analysis” using the applicable clinical and operations Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and checklists.

What is gap analysis? To understand its importance we must first understand its purpose. Simply stated, gap analysis is the comparison of how a facility is performing to how it should perform. Gap analysis as the initial step informed site leaders of how their intake and medication room services compared to the expected performance as stated in the Core Process documents. If gaps were identified, the Core Process tools were to be used to address those gaps.

Why do we need to address gaps identified in the intake and medication room processes? At the heart of the Core Process Program is the desire for consistency in the way health care services are delivered in all Corizon Health facilities. The Core Process documents provide a clear and consistent approach defining the steps all employees should follow when providing care. The benefit of consistent care is that it reduces the risk of patient harm. When each employee knows the right steps to take we are less likely to miss important information that may be used to clearly define patient need. Core Processes also help guide employees to ensure identified needs are met in a timely and efficient manner.

It is important for our site teams to appreciate that gap analysis is not a onetime event. We must be on constant watch for issues that may occur in our processes. As each employee performs their duties on a daily basis they should look for ways to make the processes at the site more efficient. Site leadership and staff should continually strive to ensure consistency of care and seek to identify anything that may make the process less efficient and effective. Allowing process gaps to continue raises the risk of patient harm. Taking pride in the Core Processes and continually seeking to be the best is a win-win situation for patients and staff.

Embracing the Core Process program and its associated documents is the best way to ensure consistency and reduce gaps in performance. They should be used for on-boarding new staff members and for refreshing current staff. Keeping the workflows clearly posted and keeping the SMART cards in your pocket allows for quick reference as duties are performed.  Operations checklists support site leadership efforts to manage the processes on a daily basis. On behalf of your clinical and operations leadership, I ask that you embrace the program and the positive impact it can have on the most important part of our efforts – providing the best care for our patients.