A procedure is defined as a series of written steps in chronological order that detail the manner of performing work. We rely on procedures within a Health Information Management department for a variety of functions. Procedures are in place as to how to perform discharge analysis or the steps needed to fulfill a request for patient information in the Release of Information area.
Procedures help provide uniformity for the function, assist in training your staff, and help with checks and controls within the workflow. A well-written procedure will ensure the desired end result.
The steps for writing a procedure are as follows:
- Determine all of the steps required. Use only the minimum number needed for carrying out the procedure.
- Determine the best sequence for the performance of these steps. Those which are similar or closely related to each other should be grouped together. Number your steps.
- Review procedures which might be affected by changes in other procedures.
- Test a procedure before putting it into everyday use; try to discover its flaws.
- Evaluate the procedure after it has been used for several weeks.
Now’s your chance to put Steps 1-3 into practice! Choose a common everyday task. For example, brushing your teeth, making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, pumping gas, etc. Following the 3 steps, develop a procedure for the task you chose.