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Case Study
  • Open Access

Don't Lose Patients

Publication:
Quality Progress
Date:
February 2013
Issue:
Volume 46 Issue 2
Pages:
pp. 42-49
Author(s):
Creasy, Todd; Ramey, Sarah
Organization(s):
Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC, Clinch Valley Medical Center, Richlands, VA

Abstract

A hospital in western Virginia has been undertaking lean Six Sigma initiatives for about three years. Hospital management decided to focus on the preadmission testing (PAT) program as part of the hospital's continuous improvement initiative. PAT evaluates, assesses, educates, and prepares patients and families for successful and safe hospital experiences. The quality of these services is important to hospital revenue, as a poor PAT experience can send the potential patient elsewhere. PAT is also a vital part of the process for operating room physicians. Hospital management determined that there were inefficiencies in this key process. They employed the principles of 6TOC, which is a combination of lean Six Sigma and the theory of constraints with which organizations resolve bottlenecks. As a result, the hospital cut wait time for its patients by 70% and eliminated the main cause of customers seeking other providers.

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