Patient Journey Modeling, a relatively recent innovation in healthcare quality improvement, models the patient's movement through a Health Care Organisation (HCO) by viewing it from a patient centric perspective. A Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) provides a standard project management framework that can improve the quality of information systems. The concept of following a consistent project management framework to boost quality outcomes can be applied equally to healthcare improvement. This paper describes a SDLC designed specifically for the health care domain and in particular patient journey modeling projects. It goes on to suggest that such a framework can be used to compliment the dominant healthcare improvement method, the Model for Improvement. The key contribution of this paper is the introduction of a project management framework in the form of an SDLC that can be used by non-professional computer developers (ie: health care staff), to improve the consistency and quality of outcomes for patient journey redesign projects. Experiences of applying the SDLC in a midwife-led primary-care maternity services environment are discussed. The project team found the steps logical and easy to follow and produced demonstrable improvement results along with ongoing goal-focused action plans.
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