PhD Studentship: The use of process improvement methodologies to better equip receptionists for their clinical role in General Practice


University of Birmingham

University of Birmingham – School of Health and Population Sciences

Background

Joint PhD studentship between Professor Sheila Greenfield, Dr Ian Litchfield (School of Health & Population Sciences) and Dr Nicola Gale (Health services Management Centre)

The pressure on primary care is growing, consultation rates are on the increase and the workload on GPs is mounting. However this increased demand does not impact on GPs alone but all members of the practice team including receptionists who play an essential role in the successful functioning of the surgery and have a major influence on patient satisfaction. Receptionists have reported feeling pressure from patients and GPs and can feel isolated in a role that has implications for the health of a patient yet lacks stipulations for training or qualifications. Attitudes of receptionists and other stakeholders regarding their currrent role are yet to be fully explored and systematic consultation with staff on the creation and implementation of policies and processes to support receptionists is absent.

This PhD will start by exploring whether using value stream maps in conjunction with service blueprints will provide a greater understanding of the processes and influences on receptionists in their clinically relevant role.  It will then look at how they can inform recommendations for process improvement and appropriate support for receptionists. The work will serve to prompt discussion on the clinical role of receptionists and assess the advantages of using value streams in conjunction with related tools (questionnaires and focus groups) for process improvement. A first degree (typically BSc or Masters) in a relevant subject area is required

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PhD Studentship: The use of process improvement methodologies to better equip receptionists for their clinical role in General Practice