Anyone else using MaxQDA in process improvement situations?

06.11.2015, 16:02

Most of my use of my use of MaxQDA in in process improvement situations in healthcare, and I am curious if anyone else is using it that way, and how you are dealing with capturing process flow.

I conduct many interviews of clinical or admin users of IT and other technologies. Interviews are typically either over the phone or in the person's work environment, and because it's healthcare, video recording is problematic (you could easily capture patient health information by accident that is protected under HIPAA laws). Interviews typically run an hour, and are either individual or group, and usually fast-flowing. In the interview the person will be prompted to talk about what is working well and what is not working well, and I am watchful for what they are saying about risks, issues, situations, and opportunities. They will also often walk me through their work processes such as admitting a patient, scheduling surgery, locating and assigning a suitable inpatient bed, etc.

At the moment I type my interview notes in realtime in Microsoft OneNote, and then pull them into MaxQDA, where I do the initial coding and categorization. If I am onsite and don't have a PC, I sometimes use a tablet. I used to do like most people, and write by hand, pencil and paper, and then transcribe afterwards, but it's slow, I get cramp in my hand after twenty minutes, and sometimes I can't read my own handwriting, let alone share with other members of the interview team! :) I use OneNote because for note-taking it is pretty good, and beats out EverNote because it seamlessly integrates to Outlook and SharePoint and Microsoft Office apps.

The qualitative analysis in MaxQDA works very well, and that is a critical step in classification of meaning i.e. what did this persona just tell me, what does this mean, are they saying the same as other people I have interviewed. MaxQDA is great for that kind of qualitative analysis, coding, creating categories and adding post-interview memos to the text, images, voice clips, video clips, etc. that were captured along with the notes.

However, when it comes to capturing a workflow as the person speaks, OneNote and MaxApp lack the kind of functionality to deal with choices.
If the person describes a simple sequence of steps, things are fine, but if they describe a logical branch in which two things happen concurrently, or there is a choice between two paths, I am having trouble picking an efficient way to capture this.

The final product for the description of a workflow will in my case be a flowchart diagram in a formal notation, so the fewer steps to get there is optimal.

Any thoughts?

Posts: 34
Joined: 28.02.2014, 19:38
Location: Washington DC & Denver Colorado

Re: Anyone else using MaxQDA in process improvement situatio

28.11.2015, 02:10

Matthew -

In a previous role as a software designer, I spend many months doing process mapping. To go from a verbal, non-linear description, to a neat process model is difficult, as you say. If there is branching, then to my mind the simplest way to capture it is to draw a rough diagram on your tablet, using drawing tools.

If you wanted to try and capture in text, then the only method is to use numbered steps and references to those numbered steps. By way of example:
step 1 - do task #1
step 2 - decision: do you need option A or option B? If A, go to step 3; if B, go to step 20
step 3 - do task #2
step 20 - do task #5
If you have a lot of branching then of course things can rapidly get complicated.

You may also consider MaxMaps as a temporary mapping tool. Then it's right there next to your text/interview data.

Kindest regards

Posts: 29
Joined: 23.12.2014, 03:07
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Re: Anyone else using MaxQDA in process improvement situatio

07.12.2015, 19:22

Thanks Justin, I will try MaxMaps
Posts: 34
Joined: 28.02.2014, 19:38
Location: Washington DC & Denver Colorado

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