The University Hospital North Midlands Interventional Radiology team led by Mark Smith, Superintendent Radiographer, recently underwent a patient flow improvement exercise using the Lean 3P methodology.
Over the last decade the demand for Interventional Radiology has significantly increased. This has been driven by improvements in technology, clinical developments and an increase in catchment area and demographics. The team have previously experimented with solutions and wanted to build on their experience to finalise a business case to provide an improved patient process flow and achieve the Trust targets with the lowest cost, best quality and least waste solution.
First steps included understanding the Voice Of the Customer along with analysing the current process to identify problems that prevent real flow. Having a detailed understanding of the issues then enabled the team to create a number of different ways to solve the problems using Lean flow as a key element to the solutions. Using a criteria based scoring mechanism the team evaluated the best way forward which they then subjected to rigorous testing using a “stop / go” simulation.
Their solution worked and demonstrated than an extra 25% of patients could be seen through Interventional Radiology, as well as releasing beds back to the day case ward, which would allow an additional 10 patients to be seen through the other day case processes.
Even with the investment needed the expected financial Return On Investment (ROI) is greater than 7 to 1. More importantly, from a patient flow viewpoint, the team also expect a 40% reduction to the average length of patient stay meaning that patients receive a great service along with a much shorter stay in hospital.
Congratulations to the Interventional Radiology team for a great job completing this planning and good luck in its forthcoming implementation.