Turnaround Times or Overall Door-to-Door Visit Times should be evaluated by every clinic. Capturing and analyzing patient flow data from check in to check out is critical to overall patient satisfaction.

At the Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Michigan, a Lean Six Sigma Healthcare study was started to improve overall patient satisfaction. The original goals were to decrease the turnaround times (TAT) and improve quality of patient care. The initial TATs were 115 minutesthey were ultimately able to decrease to 94 minutes by the end of the study.

The study concluded that the wait times in the lobby and in the exam rooms waiting for the resident, were the areas that could be improved upon the most.  By changing the residency review process, the clinic was better able to streamline the exam process with the resident and attending physician. And, the clinic discovered a way to improve the check in process by adding a clerk exclusively for checking in patients. This decreased time in the lobby allowed for better flow back to the patient exam rooms.

This project is an excellent example of how Lean Six Sigma methodology can be used to realize inefficiencies and improve patient flow in an outpatient clinic.

Remember, you can’t manage what you don’t measure, so find a partner that can help you capture, analyze and consult on your patient flow data as well as find ways to improve overall patient satisfaction in your clinic.