Mapping Our Way through the Substance Abuse Prevention System
To achieve higher business results, it is essential to provide a common vision of business as a complete system. Process mapping is a technique that can be used to create a common vision for an organization or business. It is one of the oldest, simplest and most valuable techniques for streamlining work. Also known as process charting or flow charting, process mapping helps to: spotlight waste; streamline work processes; defines and standardize; promotes deep understanding; and build consensus. Process mapping represents work processes visually and helps to identify problem areas and opportunities for process improvement. As a continuous quality improvement (CQI) tool, process mapping helps to understand the process we currently use and ask what is expected of us; and what should we be doing to provide better customer focus and satisfaction. It also can identify what best practices need to be incorporated and find appropriate benchmarks for measuring how we can arrive at better ways of communicating services. The process map shows all the process associated activities, including volumes of inputs and outputs, approvals, exceptions, and cross-functional hand-offs. The basic goal of the map is to provide a unifying vision of business processes, so that participating organizations and individuals can have an understanding of their specific role in the overall system.
In an effort to improve understanding of the substance abuse prevention system vision and its processes, the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Program Office (SAMHPO) in collaboration with the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association sponsored a one-day workshop on January 18, 2012 to map out the prevention system. The meeting was facilitated by Stephen Hacker, CEO and founder of Transformations Systems International. A total of 27 participants came to the meeting including: SAMHPO Staff, Prevention Directors, Prevention Providers, Coalition Coordinators, Managing Entity Representatives, Peer Mentors, Community Coaches and Evidence Based-Practices Workgroup representatives. Mr. Hacker used a "hands-on" approach in which he: 1) Set the stage for the meeting in order to align the meeting objectives with organizational and personal objectives; 2) Provided foundational information on process mapping; and 3) Used group break-out sessions to map out the prevention system.
Based on feedback from the group, a Prevention System Process Map was created that focused on five major components of the prevention system: 1) DCF SAMHPO; 2) Managing Entities; 3) Coalitions; 4) Prevention Providers; and 5) Contractors. The following process map highlights relationships, inputs and outcomes associated with stakeholders in the prevention system.
After viewing the map, the group discussed a recommendation which could help improve the prevention system. The recommendation focused on the provision of information about the prevention system from a single authoritative source (SAMHPO). For example, it would be beneficial to the prevention field to receive information about Managing Entities, including roles, responsibilities and how prevention will fit into this new structure. There is also a desire to know the roles and responsibilities of each department funded contractor and their respective roles in the system. It is anticipated that this "sharing" of information will ensure that the field has correct information which can help stakeholders make decisions as well as adequately plan for the future.
Enhancing community health and wellness through the provision of an effective substance abuse prevention system is a key priority of DCF. DCF will continue to request feedback from the field to help improve the system. Ad-hoc prevention work groups will continue to be developed to take information from these workshops and translate them to strategies for the system.
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For more information, contact Anika Foster at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 850-878-2196.
or contact Sheila Barbee at Sheila_Barbee@dcf.state.fl.us or call 850-717-4400.