MDA National Case Study

MICRODYNAMICS BUILDS ENTERPRISE PROCESS MODEL FOR MEDICAL INSURER, MDA NATIONAL

Founded in 1925, MDA National is a medical defence organisation – established to protect the interests of its doctor and dentist members.  MDA National owns a medical indemnity insurer, MDA National Insurance. This company has issued professional indemnity insurance policies to members of MDA National since July 2003. Together, the two entities make up the MDA National Group. MDA National’s head office is in Perth – and they also have branch offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide.

As a medical insurer, MDA National has a wide range of processes in place – detailing everything from resource management, to marketing, member services, and claims management.

However, prior to engaging MicroDynamics, MDA National lacked consistent and accurate process documentation at all levels of their business.  This meant that on a day-to-day basis, it was difficult for staff to immediately reference the processes relating to their role.  Similarly, existing processes were designed and structured according to business units, rather than being focused on the overall needs of the organisation.

MicroDynamics worked very closely with MDA National’s key stakeholders to deliver a new and robust Enterprise Process Model - which uses the iGrafx FlowCharter process mapping tool to thoroughly and accurately document the company’s processes, and Process Central for storage and organisation. 

Following the implementation, MicroDynamics also provided training for MDA National staff – helping ensure a high level of uptake.

After mapping, organising and centralising their processes, MDA National has enjoyed a range of benefits. Most importantly, the system has helped the business easily recognise where gaps exist in terms of resources, staff or technology – and rapidly address this to ensure a maximum return for the organisation’s members. The Enterprise Process Model has also given staff a greater sense of ownership, and has improved customer service processes across the business.  

SITUATION

Prior to engaging MicroDynamics, MDA National was facing several key issues with regards to their processes. Specifically:

  • Lack of visibility. There was no real way for employees at all levels of the organisation to easily view processes relating to their role, or to quickly determine how they should perform a particular task so as to get the best result.
  • Lack of documentation. Over the years, MDA National had grown fairly rapidly, and as such, some processes remained undocumented. This resulted in a lack of clarity and consistency amongst staff.
  • Complexity. Several of the company’s processes were quite overly and unnecessarily complex – and required simplification.
  • Absence of a ‘big picture’ perspective. Due to the absence of a centralised process repository, processes tended to be quite segmented according to specific departments – rather than focused on the bigger picture, or overall organisational outcome.  In keeping with this, within the business there was no true understanding which processes existed and were documented, and which weren’t.
  • Internally rather than externally focused.  Without any previous process mapping in place, it was difficult for MDA National to ensure that their processes were designed and based on member needs.

In addition, MDA National needed a system with in-built flexibility, as MDA National’s business changes frequently based on internal updates, new technology, and changes in law.

SOLUTION

MicroDynamics worked closely with the technical analysts at MDA National to deliver an intelligent and robust solution which utilises two key pieces of software:

  • FlowCharter – now used to thoroughly and consistently document all process maps and models in the organisation.  FlowCharter enables ongoing capture of information on the processes – such as their duration, the resources they require, and more.   This means processes can be quickly and easily reviewed and evaluated based on need.
  • Process Central – which acts as a repository or library for all of MDA National’s process maps and supporting documentation such as procedural manuals.

MicroDynamics helped deploy this software on-site, and also provided training for three days following the implementation.  They also provide ongoing support and consultation as needed.
According to MDA National’s Process Improvement Manager, the Enterprise Process Model is an organic entity that is going to continue to improve over time. He said: ‘It’s not something you do once and leave it. To look for a better way of doing things is an ongoing, continual process”.

RESULTS

As a result of the process mapping enabled by the solution, MDA National has already enjoyed a range of benefits – including:

  • Greater cohesiveness. According to MDA National’s Process Improvement Manager, one of the key aims of the project was to “build a mechanism to jump across the hierarchies” that existed in the business – enabling a greater knowledge transfer across business units.
  • Improved visibility. The system enables management to easily see which processes are currently well supported, and which are not. This means that where there are gaps in terms of software, staff or other resources can be easily addressed – and the results seen fairly immediately.
  • Improved ownership. The new system gives employees a greater sense of ownership and control over their process documentation.
  • Improved training process. The centralised system makes it very easy for new employees of MDA National to quickly and easily comprehend their roles and responsibilities.
  • Improved member services. As staff can now quickly and easily view organisational processes, they can respond in a more consistent and accurate way to members – particularly when it comes to the processing of claims.
  • Reduced duplication. Thanks to having a central location for processes, any confusing duplication was removed.
  • Streamlined compliance and auditing. As MDA National’s Process Improvement Manager stated, compliance is now much easier, as “we’ve got everything already written up and it’s not an issue at all.”

The most significant benefit of the new system was that it was a facilitator of change within the business.  As MDA National’s Process Improvement Manager said: “once everyone can see how work gets done, they can start making changes where necessary: they can see why we do certain things, and how they can remove duplication and save resources. Often, complexities arise because no one has the time to look at the business from the outside in.”

MDA National’s Process Improvement Manager also added: “As a tool, it’s absolutely brilliant. The challenge for us now is how to actually classify processes and decide which processes we want to map. So we’ve done a lot to improve the integrity of our processes, but there’s quite a bit of work that needs to be done.”

“Even before we had finished mapping the processes, there were changes taking place within the organisation as a result, which is extremely positive.”


“With MicroDynamics, I was able to talk to the right people all the time. When you have one central contact point, they can help you more effectively rather than going through the same cycle again and again – as can be the case with a larger organisation.”


“I was looking for a solution that was easy to use, easy to implement and not too expensive. From this point of view, the solution and services MicroDynamics provided worked very well.”


Process Improvement Manager, MDA National