Friday 24 February 2017

Managing Business Processes

Much of what we do, whether at work or in our personal lives, involves routine processes. For example, driving a car to shop at our favorite grocery is routine, not requiring much thought even though we focus on being careful. At work we may greet our customers or patients with routine greetings, although we try to be friendly. These routines do not require a lot of thought. Instead, our minds adopt patterns for these routines rather quickly as it saves a lot of energy, according to recent brain research. So, if most of what we do is routine, then we need to make sure that the patterns or processes involved in these routines are effective and customer- or patient-centered.
Before proceeding too far, let me define what a process is. According to the American Society of Quality (ASQ), a process is "A set of interrelated work activities characterized by a set of specific inputs and value added tasks that make up a procedure for a set of specific outputs." To illustrate this, I will examine a portion of the process of checking a patient in at an outpatient clinic. The input is information given by the patient-name, nature of visit and insurance coverage. The value added tasks are the questions from the person checking in the patient. For instance, "Do you still have the same insurance? May I see your card?" Doing this provides value for the clinic as it provides a means of billing for the services. The outputs are the recorded responses of the patient.
For the best outcomes that are predictable for both patients or customers and the provider or business it is necessary to understand the many processes at a provider site and effectively manage the processes. This function is called Business Process Management by quality professionals and was the focus of an article in the May, 2015, issue of Quality Progress, the flagship publication of the ASQ-"Process Primer".
Failure to actively manage the processes at your work site may have many unintended consequences that affect the bottom line. Let me return to the check in of the patient mentioned above as an example. Suppose the receptionist asking for the current insurance information of the patient finds out that the patient has just enrolled in Medicare. When asking for the insurance card the patient supplies his/her Medicare card. This seems fine but suppose the patient is in a Medicare Advantage program and, being new to Medicare, does not supply that card. Then, when the clinic files a claim, it will be denied and the billing staff will have to contact the patient to find out how to resolve the problem. This extra work is costly and time wasting. It could have all been avoided if the check-in routine included asking Medicare patients if they are using a Medicare Advantage payer.
According to the article "Process Primer" there are five pillars of Business Process Management (BPM):
1. Identifying top priority, critical processes.
2. Validating customer (patient) requirements.
3. Documenting the processes.
4. Developing process measurements.
5. Managing and improving the processes.
These pillars should be actively addressed and managed by site executives and leaders and staff trained to address them. Managing business processes requires training of staff and/or use of professionals who are experts in the field. Typically, quality experts trained in the use of lean six-sigma methodology or similar approaches are capable of providing guidance in BPM for a site. Many organizations provide training for staff in the use of the basic tools of lean six-sigma, including the Medical Management Group Association.
Identifying Critical Processes
There are many processes at a work site. It would take too much time and effort to identify and manage them all. Thus, it is necessary to identify which are most critical to patient and practice outcomes. These should be actively managed to insure optimal, predictable outcomes that satisfy the patients and customers. After the most critical processes are under control and producing predictable, effective outcomes, staff can move on to managing less critical processes.
Validate Customer Requirements
It is very important that customer needs are understood and being met. In healthcare, this approach is being patient-centered. Processes that directly impact patients, such as the provision of clinical care, must be focused on the needs of the patient. It is key that providers actively work to understand these needs. Other staff who have contact with the patient must also be patient-centered.
Not all customers are patients, though. For instance, the work of the billing staff has a direct impact on the financial health of the provider group; the customers of the billing staff are the office management and the rest of the staff. I would consider the processes that they use critical to the health of the provider organization. Thus, it must be managed so as to produce optimal outcomes.
Model the Processes
The current state of all critical processes need to be understood. One of the best ways to do this is to use mapping tools such as flowcharts, value stream mapping or software that allows the mapping of the details of a given process. According to "Process Primer", this includes people, systems, information, materials, tools and equipment, and documentation.
Develop Process Measurements
For a process to be managed key indicators must be identified and measured. At a clinical site these could include population level health outcomes, such as the average blood pressure of patients with diabetes. For billing it could be the number of claims in AR that are 60 days past due. Let me emphasize that it is not sufficient to have just one key indicator per process. Rather, measurements should be taken at various stages of the process to insure best management.
Manage and Improve a Process
Once key processes are identified, mapped and indicators are being measured as well as patient requirements identified the best providers will work to continuously improve the processes in order to insure ever better outcomes. This will provide ever-improving outcomes for patients and providers.
The best businesses and providers will be actively engaged managing and improving their processes. Although Business Practice Management is complex the time spent on it has a tremendous impact on the health of patients and the business of the provider. In the face of the changes in reimbursement to providers BPM is critical to the health of the provider.

The Perks Of Buying New Cars From Exporters

Investing in vehicles is important to allow individuals to cater to their transportation needs easily. In addition, having your own car can also help improve your lifestyle. But, one of the biggest problems car buyers may encounter is finding reliable new cars sellers. Surely, some individuals can visit dealerships in their area. But, if you want to attain more benefits, it is imperative to work with new cars exporters. Below are some of the perks individuals can obtain when working with exporters.
Unlimited choices
One of the main benefits of buying new cars from exporters is the wide selection of vehicles to choose from. Most of the time individuals purchase vehicles depending on their needs. However, not all car dealerships can provide you with the best options. Not to mention, when looking for huge vehicles and trucks, you need to look for heavy equipment providers. Luckily, when opting for exporters, you can easily find the vehicle you want since they have numerous sources from small cars, up luxury vehicles and even trucks. Because of this, you do not need to spend substantial time for a dealership that offers the car you are eyeing for.
Better price ranges
The next benefit when purchasing cars from exporters is they offer better price range. Of course when buying a car, most individuals look for dealerships that offer low prices. However, prices of dealerships may differ. Because of this, finding one the offers affordable rates can be time consuming. By working with exporters, you can easily get the best car prices. This is possible since exporters can search for vehicles that can match your budget. As a result, you can properly accomplish your daily tasks while exporters are searching for the car you want.
Safer and more reliable transactions
Another benefit that car buyers can obtain when opting for the services of exporters is they can provide you with safer and more reliable transactions. There are cases when buyers pay extra charges when purchasing vehicles from dealerships. Apart from that, there are dealerships also include some charges car buyers do not know. On the other hand, when buying cars from exporters, experts will ensure full transparency of their purchase.
More automotive related services
Finally, when working with exporters, individuals can also enjoy more automotive related services. For one, individuals can purchase OEM and aftermarket parts offered only from selected countries. Next, some exporters also sell used cars. And, exporters can also offer other products with engines like motorbikes, forklifts as well as agricultural machinery and equipment.

5 Tips On How To Get Started Planning Your Dream Wedding Day!

Recently Engaged? What's Next? 5 Tips On How To Get Started Planning Your Dream Wedding Day!
So your fiance has recently proposed, you said "yes" and now you're gearing up to start your wedding planning. What's a girl to do next?
Many women are excited and slightly overwhelmed when it comes to getting started with planning their weddings. They really aren't sure where to start. This is completely normal so don't panic. If your car broke down and needed repaired you wouldn't fix it yourself you'd bring your car to a mechanic a trained expert in repairing cars, right? So why would you take one of the most important days in your life, a huge investment of money (average wedding is $25,000) at a very overwhelming time in your life to plan your wedding all on your own? You deserve to have a little help from a professional wedding planner (like me) to get you started on the right direction to help you get on the right track, get organized, spend your time wisely, help you find the best location and wedding professionals for your day and then ensure everything is well organized so that you can really enjoy every moment of the day.
Well I'm here to help you get started with planning your amazing dream wedding. Here are my 5 tips to get you started and put you on the right track to your dream wedding day!
1. You're Engaged! Celebrate!
This is such a special time in your lives so make sure you celebrate it! If someone offers to host an engagement party then don't turn them down. This is your time to feel beautiful and get used to becoming a glowing bride to be. Enjoy every moment of your engagement because before you know it; it will be over.
2. Decide what kind of wedding do you want
It's important before you do anything else you really need to sit down and figure out what your dream wedding day looks like. A lot of couples skip this step entirely and what ends up happening is they don't have the wedding day of their dreams and afterwards they can't stop thinking about it. If you talk to a lot of married couples many brides will tell you that they didn't have the wedding day of their dreams. They might make up excuses about not having enough money or time to plan it. But what they were really missing was a process and an expert in weddings to help them make decisions, see it from another perspective and making the impossible actually possible! But what they did was plan to get it all done and get through their day hoping that everything would go right. That's a lot of stress! But what if I told you that's not what your wedding day should be about. It should be about an exciting milestone in your life about the two of you coming together to become husband and wife. Once you say "I do" then you give your guests an amazing experience (your vision) to celebrate with you.
3. Decide how much you want to invest in your dream wedding day?
Wedding budgets don't have to be scary unless you want them to be. Come up with a figure and make sure that it's realistic with the number of guests you will be having at your wedding. Where will those funds be coming from? Keep in mind when parents are helping contribute to the wedding they often will start dictating what you can and can't have. Some couples have no choice they are paying for their wedding themselves and perhaps a student loan, and a new home on top of it. Make sure it's an amount you are comfortable with and sometimes you may have to sacrifice in certain areas to have your dream day. But I know it's possible I've helped couples achieve their dream weddings on budgets between $15,000-$70,000.
4. Start researching ceremony and reception venues
Once you've set a date you really need to secure your DREAM venue as soon as possible. Where do you see yourself getting married outside, inside, in a church, in a garden, by the falls, on a farm, in a rustic setting, in a banquet hall... the possibilities are endless!
5. Get Some Support From A Professional Wedding Planner (for FREE)
I remember what it was like starting to plan my wedding. I sort of felt like "a deer in headlights" not having a clue as to where to begin. I knew what I wanted for my wedding, but it wasn't possible to achieve (Or was it? Not with that attitude). I spent hours and hours Googling stuff and asking around about vendors and venues from friends and family. I thought back to where other weddings had taken place that I attended and graded the hall. But did I really want someone else's wedding? No! But I was taking the easiest way out because planning was just too time consuming and stressful. It was a full time job all on its own. And I barely saw Steve while I was planning our wedding all by myself. And even worse... although our wedding was amazing and our guests still talk about it. I listened to everyone else. And I didn't have my DREAM wedding and now after 2 years I still think about it. I wish I had known about what a wedding planner could have offered me.
As a wife and now an experienced wedding planner I've been there and done that (over 25 times to be exact). I don't just plan weddings I help brides (and grooms) through a very overwhelming and often stressful time in their lives. I'm here to hold your hand and guide you through the emotional rollercoaster that is wedding planning. Nothing means more to me than making sure you have the wedding day of YOUR dreams, to get the things that you want for YOUR dream wedding. To make it a personal day that reflects who the two of you are. I want to ensure you stay on target with your budget, match you to the best vendors and venue that would be best for you and then give you the tools to ensure that you can actually SHINE like the star you are and not be doing anything else but enjoying every moment of your day! That's why I offer lots of tips and advice to hundreds of brides and grooms, because it's so overwhelming and you need someone to help you through the process.
If you'd like more of my help with designing your dream wedding then you can start here with my Designer Secrets Revealed F*REE Special Report "7 Easy Ways To Get Wedding WOW Factor" and you will also receive a subscription to my popular e-magazine "Wedding Wishes By Stephanie Thompson" with more great wedding planning tips and tricks.
Well beautiful bride to be I hope this helps get you pointed on the right direction to planning your dream wedding. Congratulations and enjoy this amazing time in your lives!
Every moment matters,
Stephanie Thompson WPICC
Wedding Wish Specialist

Why Your Business Should Use Online Accounting Software

Cloud software has revolutionised the world of modern business, allowing people to work together remotely in real time -wherever they are in the world. The Cloud allows multiple users to collaborate on pieces of work and have access to the same files and company documents from a PC, laptop or mobile phone.
If you're familiar with cloud sharing, you may have also heard of cloud accounting. In much the same way that The Cloud allows users to collaborate on pieces of work and access files remotely, it also enables business owners and their accountants to work together to balance the books whilst on the move.
If you're unfamiliar with cloud sharing, you may be daunted by the prospect of online accounting software. You may worry it will be difficult to implement and confusing to grasp; you might also be concerned about the security of your account information, particularly if you've not used cloud software before.
But online accounting was created with the aim of making life easier and more flexible for business owners. It will allow you to connect with your numbers, as well as financial advisers, at any time using any device. Not only that, but you should receive a full setup, implementation training and ongoing support from your provider.
Not only will you be able to access your accounts at any time, but using online accounting software will also provide you with a time saving payroll solution. You'll have access to a snapshot of your payroll and leave information and super payments at any time. Super payments and tax updates will be also become automated.
This means that you'll no longer need to spend hours in the back office manually entering your payroll information, or pay someone to do it for you: an intelligent computer system will take care of it whilst you get on with running your business.
You can even access your payroll on your mobile phone, so if you're on the road more often than you're sat at a desk, you'll have everything you need to manage your business from your pocket.
Invoices will also be easier to manage. You can send an invoice the minute a job has been completed, and you will know when your customer has opened it. They will then be able to pay you quickly and easily. Your support team should also be able to help you manage your old invoices and keep on top of your incoming payments.
Most accounting apps also include a handy receipt-scanning function, allowing you to track your expenditure as and when it happens. So no more trying to keep receipts organised and having to input figures manually.
When it comes to implementing your new online accounting software, it's important to find a well established, reputable IT network you can rely on. The company should have been in operation for a number of years, and have a portfolio of success stories from other companies who have benefited from their support.
The company's existing clients should be listed on their website, as well as any testimonials or positive reviews they may have received. It's useful to read these to gauge how reliable, professional and helpful the company is before you think about contacting them.
You should be able to find a number of different contact methods, including telephone numbers and e-mail support. It's best to contact an adviser directly and explain the requirements of your business from the outset. Many IT providers are able to provide completely bespoke solutions to suit their client's unique needs.
Make sure the company you contact offer support as well as implementation of your new software - you need to know that you will be able to call on an expert at any time.

How To Find The Best Long-Term Villa Rentals

Since most people choose not to stay in a hotel for an extended period of time (whether due to budget constraints or personal preference), the options for long-term holiday rentals are plentiful. You can either choose to stay in an apartment, house, villa or condo depending on what kind of experience you're looking to have while you're away.
Regardless of the different options available, villas tend to be the most popular choice for people in need of long-term accommodation. This is thought to be because villas combine the basic elements of a hotel stay with the luxury of having your own space to inhabit - almost like a serviced home.
That said, you can pick and choose what kind of villa you stay in, and you don't have to have maids, butlers or chefs at your whim. Similarly, some of these properties come with pools, spas, gyms and home cinemas - whereas others are more basic in their offering. Whatever you're looking for, there is bound to be a villa out there to match your needs.
The best place to start looking for accommodation is online. Here, you will be able to spend time surveying the different options available to you, as well as comparing prices between providers. If you can't find a list of long-term rentals on the company's website, it's best to contact them over the phone to discuss whether this kind of let is an option.
Many people buy villas overseas because they are an incredibly worthwhile investment, with many being cheaper than in the UK or US. While owners will typically use them for their own holidays, they may also choose to rent them out while they're not in use, generating an income and making sure the home remains looked after.
In order to ensure that the property is being kept to a high standard and is safe and secure, many owners will employ a rental agency to manage it in their absence. They will provide you with a point of contact, much like a letting agency would if you were renting a home to live in. You should be able to find details of available rentals on the agency's website.
The agency should therefore be located in close proximity to where you're staying in case there is an emergency or you need assistance. They may go one step further than this and actually supply the staff to clean, cook and wait on you during your stay.
These services can provide you with a much-needed break from day-to-day life, or allow you to get on with working, exploring, or whatever you planned to do when you arranged your trip away. If budget is an issue, talk to your chosen accommodation provider to see if they can provide minimal services that won't break the bank.
Most long-term holiday homes will ask for rent to be paid on a monthly basis, similar to a property you might rent back home. When looking online, properties should be ordered on a monthly rental price basis - from lowest to highest - but may also be arranged in accordance with your size and location preferences.
If you can't find anything that fits within your specifications, it's best to get in touch with the agency directly as they may have other options available.

Thawing Frozen Pipes Safely

When your pipes have frozen, thawing is a way to help prevent frozen pipe repair. When you get to the stage of repairing your pipes this usually means that your pipes have burst, which can be expensive to repair. Before the cold months of winter arrive there are things that you can do to help keep your water pipes from becoming frozen, which can include:
• Insulate the pipes in your attic and crawl space, even if it is uncommon to have freezing temperatures. The more insulation you use the more protected your pipes will be.
• To wrap pipes, especially those outside, use controlled heat cables or heat tape. If you have a mobile home, even if it is skirted, you should use this type of insulation. Make sure that the products you use are approved by organizations like Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. Check to see if they are intended for interior or exterior use before using them so they are used correctly. Make sure that you follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully.
• When you know the temperatures are going to drop below freezing you should leave a trickle of cold water running in at least one of your sinks near an outside wall will help to keep your pipes from freezing.
If your pipes do become frozen make sure that you do not use a propane heater, open flame, or blowtorch to try getting them thawed. If one pipe is frozen this may mean that several are frozen so turn on the cold water, not the hot water. Even having just a trickle of water can help thaw the pipes although it may take awhile to do so. The reason that even a small trickle can help is that the water that is coming into the pipe is above freezing and will help break down the water that is frozen. If you turn on the cold water faucet and have no water coming out you will have to locate the area where they are frozen. It can be difficult to find this out so you may have to call a plumber. You can damage your pipes if you guess and apply heat to the wrong pipes.
The first step in preventing frozen pipe repair is to thaw your pipes. This can be done by using a blow dryer. While thawing the pipes you should have the cold water faucet turned on. Depending on how frozen the pipes are it can take from a few minutes to several hours to get the pipes thawed. Have someone in the house so they can tell you when the water is flowing freely out of the pipes so you can stop heating them.

Heart Attack - Now No Longer a Distress

1. The most herculean Medicine: Food
I have personally followed a plant based diet for years now and it has done wonders to me. I would like to share few basic tips that could script a new beginning in your life. One thing that is worth mentioning here is for those who are skeptical about their age related to this barrier, age has nothing to do with this.
Be it 90 or 30 or even 20, you can follow it blindly. All we need is compassion and exuberating self- confidence to fight against this disease.
a. Have at least 5 cups of veggies a day.
It has been observed that some people are unshackled from the blind dependence that they tend to put on weight if they eat frequently. However the irony is that having eight or more servings a day would reduce the risk of this barrier by 30%as compared to those who consume one and a half servings or fewer. So it is recommended that you have at least 5 cups of fruits and vegetables a day. Let me mention here you can opt for berries - any berries like strawberries, blueberries, blackberries. These are excellent choices. For people who are simply bored of having fruits and vegetables on a daily basis- just chop them and prepare a green-based juice (with the fruits) in a blender. Believe me you will feel mint fresh.
b. Say Goodbye to monotonous life and make a welcome comeback
Our life style has undergone a sea change in the last few decades. Daily routine thrives primarily on sedentary work. Many of us would be surprised to learn that almost 75% are likely to develop metabolic syndrome, a cluster of problems that raise heart disease risk. So stop being a sederholmite and practice as much physical activity as you can. Design an Itinerary of small bouts of physical activity each day and do keep yourself motivated engage in some household chores.Walk as much as you can. As we all know that "Walking is a man's best medicine". In addition to this, going out for a brisk walk early in the morning while listening to bird's chirp against the backdrop of a sunrise is in itself an exhilarating experience. You will feel energized and this also increases production of happy hormones. After all a happy heart is a healthy heart.
c. Make daily dose of this nutrient mandatory in your routine: "YOGA"
Empower your life with streaming yoga practices. Patients who are victim of the most prevalent heart rhythm perturbation- atrial fibrillation, practiced yoga for three months had fewer episodes. Many experts have reported that people who exercise daily even for 20 minutes, had lower resting heart rate and blood pressure compared to those who didn't do the exercise.