Workflows: Importance to Intake Success

What are workflows and why are they so important?

The answer to this question may seem obvious at first glance, but often, when a discussion arises about what workflows actually are – or rather, what they should be, a lot of confusion quickly ensues. On the surface, most would identify workflows as a list of things one needs to complete to achieve an end-goal. You wouldn’t be wrong using that definition, but how do you define those things

A call, an email, even an in-person meeting can all be conducive to achieve an end-goal, but none of those specific tasks are inherently required to achieve a specific goal. You can just as easily get information from a person over a phone call as you would over an email, after all. So if making calls or sending emails isn’t it, then what else can a workflow encompass? 

The answer, as you might have already guessed, is simple. A breakdown of a larger process into smaller stages and substages. A call, email or an in-person meeting are all merely tasks that are taken at various stages of a given process.

This may seem like an exercise in semantics, but take a moment to think about how we would break down any complex operation. Say you want to bake a cake. You would need to go through a process that has various stages, from preparing your ingredients, combining them, baking the cake and letting it rest before consumption. Those stages, however, can be broken down into individual substages of organizing ingredients, mixing them in a specific order and so on. Of course there are at least a half a dozen tasks that can be associated across all the substages of the process, like shopping for ingredients, weighing them out, preparing your workspace and so on.

This type of breakdown helps us conceptualize complex processes to effectively execute them. The way this applies to healthcare has tremendous implications on patient outcomes as even the smallest deviations in the onboarding and servicing process can have catastrophic consequences.

This is especially true when considering the layers upon layers of complexities state regulators impose on government assisted long-term care programs. In states with consumer choice, this can lead to weeks of preparatory and qualifying work just to get a patient to a SOC (Start of Care). This ultimately means, we must rely on software to help guide our back office teams to successfully onboard patients and caregivers

A platform that is able to capture the primary elements of a workflow and separate out generic tasks out of a checklist of mandatory substages of process is not only important for your teams to work more efficiently; it will also guide them through the process without wasting managerial resources where a software platform can be of better assistance. Think of simple things like knowing what Medicaid codes are and how to address them without having to wait for a manager to answer that question for you. 

The added benefit of defining workflow stages and tasks in such a manner also allows agencies to use a standardized process so they can focus more on customizing outcome driven tasks than trying to reinvent the wheel when it comes to workflow processes that are ultimately dictated by state regulations. Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out the obvious analytics implications all of this has. More on that in the near future!

Ultimately, it was this powerful insight that led us to rethink how Bolt should handle Workflows without sacrificing the core principles that drove Bolt for all these years – powerful customizability. 

If you would like to learn more about what these changes will look like, don’t hesitate to book a demo with us today!

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