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Improving Radiology Throughput to Increase Patient and Physician Satisfaction

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Authors:
Keith Poole
Corporate Manager Lean Six Sigma
Sisters of St. Francis Health Services

Rhonda Bittner
Diagnostic Imaging Manager
Sisters of St. Francis Health Services   
 
Description
This session summarizes a multi-faceted approach taken to improve radiology throughput in an advanced diagnostic imaging center at a full-service physician office facility. Attendees will walk away with advice and practical ideas for implementation at their own facility.

Abstract
This session summarizes a multi-faceted approach taken to improve radiology throughput in an advanced diagnostic imaging center at a full-service physician office facility. Techniques utilized by the team included Lean training, process mapping, process waste identification, room utilization studies, and stat order turnaround time studies. The room utilization studies showed that room demand was not level, with two of the four available X-ray rooms in use more often. Other data analysis included histograms of stat order turnaround time and time to perform stat procedure. Using dry-erase posters of building floor plans the team also examined patient flow, leading to trials using dedicated Orthopedic patient flow alternatives on high-demand days. Department capacity and patient waiting were examined using an innovative approach of instantaneous capacity (which has been used by Disneyland to evaluate the need for an additional entrance) and results showed that patients can not access the room they need when they need it on average more than seven times per day. Together these radiology throughput studies were used to support a new equipment purchase decision to bring back to functionality a fifth X-ray room that had not been used for the past five years.



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