Abstract of Dissertation

Keyword : Process Mapping, Turnaround Time (TAT); Diagnostic Service; Home Healthcare

Objective : To access the present process structure and turnaround time (TAT) in diagnostic service delivery in home health care, also to suggest ways to improve process thereby achieving a better turnaround time.

Background : All diagnostic chains today be it standalone diagnostic centers, multinational diagnostic chains, home health care organizations and even hospitals have come up with the service of diagnostic service at home, the competition to acquire customers in a price sensitive and a customer centric market is huge. But the customer of today is much more aware, knowledgeable and looks at a service in a much more holistic way rather than judging it only by pricing or the brand, hence it has become very important for diagnostic centers and home health care service providers like Portea to provide the customer with a service which is apart from being affordable is also reliable and efficient. Defining the process and maintaining a turnaround time for each step goes a long way in providing and maintaining the quality and reliability of the service e.g. maintaining punctuality in sample collection and delivering the reports to the customer on the time promised thereby creates a positive customer experience.

Methodology : The present study is a cross sectional descriptive study carried out during the months of April and May 2016 while in Portea Medical, Bangalore. Primary and secondary data was collected from 151 respondents from Bangalore only. Simple random sampling technique (Convenience sampling) was used to select the study patients; both men as well as women participated in the survey and were data was collected from their respective homes. The secondary data was collected from the Portea MIS. Process flowcharting was used as a tool to do the process mapping and MS-Excel was used to analyze the data to derive the TAT for each step defined in the process (case assignment, sample collection, sample processing, report generation) Focused Group Discussion (FGD) with stakeholders and customer interaction were some of the ways used to understand, streamline and improve the process leading to better service delivery.

Findings : The steps in the process were defined as: 1. Case Assignment- 40% of cases beyond the standard TAT in which 49.18% of cases were delayed due to delay from local operations team. 2. Sample collection- 20% of cases beyond the standard TAT in which 40% of cases were delayed due to prior appointment and 33% due to delay from clinician. 3. Sample Processing- 76% of cases beyond the standard TAT in which 39% of cases were delayed due to delay in processing and 25% of cases due to sample viability lost. 4. Report delivery- 25% of cases beyond the standard TAT in which 39% of cases were delayed due to reports received post working hours of Portea.

Recommendations : Process mapping and TAT are one of the key ways to maintain and monitor the quality of service delivery and bridge the gaps within the process flow, since the no of stake holders in huge in the delivery of the service its essential as to what corrective and sustainable steps are taken to improve the overall experience of the customer.