Cutting costs and improving patient satisfaction don't usually go hand in hand. Generally, cutting costs means cutting corners, or removing luxuries.
However, when you are talking about improving your patient flow, you are benefiting not only your budget, your practice, and your care staff, but your patients as well. How often does that happen?
Patient flow is all about "trimming the fat" leaving you with a lean, precise system that lets you:
- Be more efficient
- See more patients
- Cut down on wait time
- Increase patient satisfaction
Finding the "fat" in your system is the challenge. There is no set number of patients for a practice to see in a day, nor is there a set wait time every practice is striving for. These numbers greatly depend on specialty, location, patient population, practice style, and many other variables. Just as each clinic is different, each goal will be different. Your practice's patient cycle time (Door-to-Door time) goal is unique to your practice.
Many articles, such as this one, suggest walking through your office as if you were a patient, taking down times and noting each specific step taken. However, doing this once every month at the same time of day would not provide you with accurate readings.
Even if you did take the time out of your day, once a week, twice a day, you would still only be getting a point in time measurement, which is hardly 100% accurate. Both your patients and your practice are constantly changing. As soon as you stop measuring, waste enters back into the process. This constant change requires constant measurement!
Operating under the Six Sigma idea of LEAN business management is an excellent approach for implementing a process to continually measure (and therefore effectively manage!) the reality of constant change in your practice.
If you would like to find out how Expeditor could help you achieve your goals through LEAN thinking, take a moment to fill out the Contact Us form on our website and one of our Consultants will be in touch.