HCAD302 Assignment 4: Creating a Data Strategy and a Process Map to Improve Healthcare Services

HCAD302 Assignment 4: Creating a Data Strategy and a Process Map to Improve Healthcare Services

Data Strategy and Process Mapping

Definition of Data Strategy

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A data strategy is a long-term plan that defines the technology, processes, individuals, and rules needed to manage the assets of a company’s information (Balakrishnan et al., 2020). All the different forms and types of businesses collect enormous amounts of data. Typically, a data strategy outlines how an organization obtains, manages, and analyzes data to attain the designated goals. Within a health organization, a data strategy entails identifying the different sources of data and defining the quality standards while establishing data governance. It involves implementing technologies and processes to utilize data for decision-making and initiatives for further improvements in a health setting.

Definition of Process Mapping

Accordingly, process mapping involves using visual maps to design workflows and processes. The process consists of creating a process map, also called a flowchart. Process mapping aims to communicate how a process works concisely and straightforwardly (Antonacci et al., 2020). Mainly, it involves the creation of visual representations of a sequence of steps or activities within a process. Within healthcare facilities, process maps depict how actions flow in an organization and different variations in the healthcare process. Process maps help understand and improve processes, issues, inefficiencies, and opportunities for enhancement.

Selected Healthcare Process for Improvement: Medication Errors

Description of Selected Issue

The issue of medication errors is a significant concern in a healthcare setting. Typically, the problem leads to increased incidences of patient harm and improves the overall costs of healthcare. Often, these errors occur at different stages, such as prescription, transcription, dispensation, administration, and monitoring (Al Mutair et al., 2021). Various factors, such as communication breakdown, unclear handwriting, and similar drug names, lead to medication errors. Other factors, such as lack of knowledge of medication dosing requirements and poor training of staff members, are also factors affecting medication administration, thus leading to medication errors.

Value of Data Strategy and Process Mapping in Medication Errors

Data strategy and process mapping are critical in addressing medication errors and improving the overall quality of health, thus increasing safety and value. A data strategy for medication errors includes elements of data collection. This mainly involves identifying integral aspects of data sources such as Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and medication administration records (Al Mutair et al., 2021). Other sources of data include incident reports and near-miss reports. After obtaining data from the references above, the next step is to evaluate the quality of the data and ascertain its accuracy, completeness, and consistency. The quality of the data would help in ensuring that the data is safe and of high quality and thus effective in preventing any errors. The next step is data governance, which includes roles and responsibilities for stewardship and ensuring that the data is private and secure and adheres to the required regulations. After all these data security and reliability elements are confirmed, there is a need to implement data management tools and analytics for data aggregation, analysis, and visualization. With effective data management, those administering medication know the required dosing regimens, and incidences where a lot of medicine is provided or less that could eventually constitute medication errors are minimized (Steckowych & Smith, 2019). The other steps in data strategy are metrics, key performance indices, and continuous improvement. Identifying the medics and key performance indicators helps monitor medication error rates and identify trends for improvement. Besides, using feedback would help streamline the process, ensuring that any hitches are resolved amicably.

Similarly, a process map for medication errors would help visually illustrate the medication management steps. Primarily, this includes writing a prescription, transcription, dispensing, administration, monitoring, and documentation processes. In the prescription phase, the physician determines the most suitable medicine for a patient based on identified symptoms. A medication prescription is thus drafted (Antonacci et al., 2020). The next step is transcription, which involves translating the required medicine and changing it to a manner that can be read and formatted for the pharmaceutical and nursing staff. After transcription, the next step is dispensing, which involves preparing and labeling the medication in the pharmacy. Typically, after a doctor prescribes a medicine and translation is done, it is taken to the pharmacy for dispensation. In this stage, the treatment is given to the nurses to administer to a patient for inpatients or given to patients for outpatients. The other step is administration, which entails consuming the medication. For inpatients, nursing staff administer the drug to a patient. Afterward, a patient’s response to the medication is evaluated, and lastly, the answer to the medication is documented in the patient’s records. With a process map, one can easily trace an error and determine its root cause effectively. The process map helps highlight any potential incidences of a mistake and resolutions made amicably.


Medication errors are prevalent in healthcare facilities. Most of these incidences could be fatal but are avoidable. In this regard, there is a need for health facilities to take proactive measures to deal with the problems. These measures include having a data strategy and process mapping. A data strategy is a plan to manage data obtained and acquired in a health facility effectively. At the same time, process mapping entails documentation of all the steps and procedures followed for medication administration. These steps would ensure that there is effective handling of data, and a process mapping could indicate potential incidences of errors in the process of administering medicine.




Al Mutair, A., Alhumaid, S., Shamsan, A., Zia Zaidi, A. R., Al Mohaini, M., Al Mutairi, A., Rabaan, A. A., Awad, M., & Al-Omari, A. (2021). The Effective Strategies to Avoid Medication Errors and Improving Reporting Systems. Medicines (Basel), 8(9), 46. https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines8090046

Antonacci, G., Lennox, L., Barlow, J., Evans, L., & Reed, J. (2020). Process mapping in healthcare: A systematic review. BMC Health Services Research. https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-80631/v1

Balakrishnan, R., Das, S., & Chattopadhyay, M. (2020). Implementing data strategy. Australasian Journal of Information Systems, 24. https://doi.org/10.3127/ajis.v24i0.2541

Steckowych, K., & Smith, M. (2019). Workflow process mapping to characterize office-based primary care medication use and safety: A conceptual approach. Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy, 15(4), 378-386. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sapharm.2018.06.003




Assignment 4: Creating a Data Strategy and a Process Map to Improve Healthcare Services

This final assignment has three parts:

1. Write an APA paper of 3-4 pages (not counting the title page or reference page of 3-5 scholarly sources) that addresses the following components:

  • What is a data strategy, and how can it be used to improve the quality, safety, and value of healthcare services?
  • What is a process map, and how can it be used to improve the quality, safety, and value of healthcare services?
  • Select one health care process for improvement, such as medication errors, wrong site surgeries, patient falls, wait times, etc. Describe the issue you selected, and the value of using a data strategy and a process map to address it.

2. Create a data strategy for the health care process you selected in the 1st part.

  • You will not have actual information, but you need to identify what you would include for each building block.
  • Does not need to be APA formatted; single spacing is fine.
  • 1-2 pages.
  • Include it as Appendix A, after the reference page.

3. Create a process map for the health care process you selected in the 1st part.

  • You should be able to include actual steps, to the extent possible.
  • 1 page only; landscape formatting will work best.
  • Can use any program, such as Visio, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. (If you use a Mac, make sure to pdf it).
  • This can be Appendix B, if it is done in Word. Otherwise, it can be submitted at the same time as your paper, but as a stand-alone document. Cover page isn’t necessary.

The outcomes being assessed in this assignment are:

  • Implement process improvement tools to identify problems and create solutions within healthcare organizations.
  • Develop strategies to improve the quality, safety, and value of healthcare services.

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