This study aimed to streamline workflow from
arrival to infusion bay by decreasing patient wait time to increase patient value
in a high-volume academic outpatient oncology infusion unit. The streamlining
process involved identifying and prioritizing patients for treatment by driving
out waste in patient flow.
The plan-do-check-act (PDCA) method and LEAN
Methodology were used in completing a project to streamline a defined subset of
patient experiences within an outpatient oncology infusion unit in an academic
comprehensive cancer center. Wait time for patients whose labs were completed
before treatment day and within normal limits and whose orders were signed the
day before treatment was collected manually for a period of 5 months and
tracked via value stream maps and control charts.
Patients experienced a
decrease of 17 minutes in mean patient arrival to infusion bay start time (arrival
to infusion bay - from 77 minutes to 60 minutes). Additionally, a value stream
analysis demonstrated that in the new process, patient touch points were
decreased by two, and value-added time was increased by 17%.
By using the LEAN systematic PDCA tool, the team
was able to identify opportunities to reduce waste in the system and streamline
patient care. The results demonstrated a significant improvement in reducing
patient wait time from arrival to infusion bay start time and increasing
percentage of total value added during a patient's treatment cycle.
Connect with us and we will be happy to consult with you on how we can help improve your patient flow efficiency.