Capacity Improvement

Busy, land-locked hospitals typically lack significant opportunities for expansion and are prime candidates for capacity improvement.

But how can hospital service providers do more then with their existing infrastructure?

Capacity improvement programs often involve multiple challenges:

  • Rather than being rich information sources, patient administration system (PAS) data are typically littered with errors
  • Peaky emergency department presentations and admissions can seem impossible to forecast
  • Operating theatre sessions frequently appear to start late and finish early without good cause.

And all too often all of these challenges are compounded by delays in patient transfers and late patient discharges.

Resulting bed-block, operating theatre recovery holds and ambulance by-pass can be tough capacity issues to solve.

What we do

We help our hospital clients to rapidly and significantly improve capacity.

We excel at rapidly gaining insights from disparate data sources, engaging front line staff, and implementing sustained improvements.

Our consultants have extensive, hand-on experience across five key areas of hospital capacity improvement:

  1. Operating theatres
  2. Emergency departments
  3. Length of stay
  4. Insight analytics
  5. Visual performance monitoring
1. Operating theatre capacity improvement

Many of the improvement initiatives health care service providers are implementing today -such as operating suite performance improvement -are not new.

They do however today have a far greater need for urgency and a need to better engage front line staff to sustain the improvements once the ‘project’ is operationalised.

We have extensive experience in improving operating theatre capacity to

  • Reduce late starts
  • Reduce early finishes
  • Improve case turnaround times
  • Deliver results using the productive operating theatre (TPOT) methodology
  • Address other ‘wastes’ such as cancellations and poor demand planning.
2.  Emergency department capacity improvement

Hospital emergency departments are often associated with failed improvement initiatives. This is because ED patient flows must successfully cross many ‘silos’ within a hospital to be effective and efficient.

Our consultant have extensive experience at working across health care silos within hospitals to improve performance between ED and Ward, ED and Operating Theatre,  and to streamline ‘direct admits’ straight to the Cath Lab or Rehab.

Examples of our work to improve Emergency Department performance include

  • 4-Hour rule – Presentations ‘offloading’ via after-hours chronic disease management clinics as alternatives to ED
  • Direct admits for elderly and other key drivers of ED volumes such as Asthma/COPD
  • Predicative modelling of presentations by day of week
  • A&E patient fast track processes
  • CT Scan, X-ray and other Diagnostics and Lab turn-around times and bottlenecks
  • ICU bed-block and overstays
  • Cath Lab recovery and CCU bottlenecks.
3.  Length of stay capacity improvement

Length of Stay improvement is a complex task and improvement activities often fail to be adopted by key clinical opinion leaders and/or ‘hit the bottom line’.

We have extensive experience and IP in implementing real change that sustains improvement to LOS such as

  • On-time discharge—by 10:00am and 12:00pm in key wards
  • Key DRGs that drive revenue and patient volume, and that are outside benchmark exemplar data
  • Outliers -that drive 25% of hospital costs
  • Mental Health—long stayers.
4. Capacity improvement insight analytics

Most Patient Administrations System come with clunky standardised reports that struggle to combine statistical data into meaningful ‘cross-silo’ patient flow information.

Time and again, we also see widespread PAS data quality issues that have caused clinicians and front line staff to disengage from improvement activities.

Our consultants help our clients to manage big data sets and undertake complex analyses to draw out key insights. They have extensive experience in

  • Data cleansing and data modelling
  • Linking data from external sources with PAS data
  • Benchmarking using internal and external comparisons
  • Data visualisation using the latest techniques such as ‘hot-spot’ and geo-coding
  • Assessing the best time to present information to clinicians -not too early, not too late, in order to influencing change.
5. Visual performance monitoring of capacity improvement KPIs

High performing heath services globally are moving to visual performance monitoring techniques. They want to present data to front line staff that are meaningful to their day-jobs and, drive engagement and improvement.

We have extensive experience working with front line staff to assist them to improve their operational area using visual performance monitoring techniques.

We have our own IP and training tools to assist our client’s to make the transition to visual performance monitoring in

  • Emergency departments
  • Operating theatre suites
  • Wards.