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Process improvements help address growing MR patient volume

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Collaborating to reduce examination delays and enhance patient throughput

At a large, academic hospital network, patient volume had been steady with a slight year-on-year increase and market research had indicated continued growth for their patient community.

 

Although their MR Services included several scanners and they had implemented operational improvements, additional performance improvements were needed.

 

The client was looking to further streamline workflow processes and evaluate technology upgrade options in order to reduce examination delays and increase patient throughput, while continuing to support the delivery of exceptional patient care.

Our approach

 

A phased approach was recommended - focusing on operational workflow, technology utilization, and market demographics. A Philips-client project team was agreed to ensure collaboration and trust.


Patient and system data was collected and analyzed and stakeholder input was gathered from clinicians, staff, patients, and family. The patient journey and clinical workflow was documented from check-in to exam completion, along with the following project deliverables:

 

  • MR operations analysis
  • Observations and interviews of clinical/non-clinical staff and patients
  • Identification of possible root causes by process area
  • Simulation of current patient flow and process maps
  • Data analysis and gap analysis
  • Cost-benefit and ROI calculation for technology upgrades
  • Outline of key implementation activities with timeline

MR technology enablement

The client also asked Philips to provide a data-based evaluation of the potential technology enablement options such as upgrading the current analog MR units to a digital platform and/or removing the mobile unit. They were looking to better understand the related workflow impact to these potential changes.

 

Comprehensive return on investment (ROI) and net present value analyses were performed including a ROI analysis for each individual MR system with a detailed list of assumptions and variables of the 3 stationary MR units.

 

The data from these analyses supported the earlier recommendation to upgrade the three stationary MR systems from an analog platform to a digital platform. A prioritized timeframe recommendation was included, demonstrating the expected increased ROI.

Identifying the key drivers of utilization and workflow

As part of the data analysis, schedule gap and scheduled time to arrival time analyses were conducted to review the current capacity of the MRI units and scheduling capacities respectively.

 

The MRI department outpatient flow was observed and charted, including 11 steps which could be the cause of potential time delays.

Schedule gap analysis
Schedule gap analysis chart
Schedule time to arrival time analysis
Schedule time to arrival time analysis

The above images are to depict analysis options, not to share project data.

Results*

 

The project team agreed change recommendations, prioritized the initiatives, and developed a high-level implementation plan.


The client team has implemented several change recommendations and achieved strong results:

 

  • A technology ROI analysis was completed resulting in equipment recommendations including prioritized timelines.
  • Radiology team implemented the ‘daily huddle’ and quickly improved visibility of resolution to scheduling issues.
  • Other departments also implemented daily huddles with immediate results.
  • The client team expects to increase MR utilization, room capacity, and patient throughput*.

 

As other changs are implemented, they will be measured and tracked to document progress.

* Results from case studies are not predictive of results in other cases. Results in other cases may vary.

What: Improve workflow, system utilization, and patient throughput to support steadily increasing MR services volume.

 

How: Evaluate and access MR workflow and provide new technology cost-benefit analysis.

 

Results: Our client implemented many project recommendations and expects to increase efficiency in MR Services as well as enhanced patient and staff experience*.

Meet our team

Mel Allen

Mel Allen, JD, MBA, FACHE

Principal and Practice Operations Lead

Mel brings decades of experience in healthcare management with expertise in radiology, cardiology, oncology, hospital performance improvement, and health law. He helps clients improve operational performance and enhance the patient experience.

Recent success

Related practice area

  • Performance Improvement

    Performance Improvement

    A collaborative approach to improving operational efficiency for increased patient satisfaction in a hospital department or across an enterprise.