Using quality improvement methodology and tools to reduce patient wait time in a paediatric subspecialty rheumatology clinic

Bayardo Garay, Denise Erlanson, Bryce A. Binstadt, Colleen K. Correll, Nora Fitzsimmons, Patricia M. Hobday, Allison Hudson, Shawn Mahmud, Mona M. Riskalla, Sara Kramer, Sheng Xiong, Richard K. Vehe, Danielle R. Bullock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Our paediatric rheumatology clinic has experienced inefficient patient flow. Our aim was to reduce mean wait time and minimise variation for patients. Baseline data showed that most waiting occurs after a patient has been roomed, while waiting for the physician. Wait time was not associated with a patient's age, time of day, day of the week or individual physician. We implemented a checkout sheet and staggered start times. After a series of plan-do-study-act cycles, we observed an initial 26% reduction in the variation of wait time and a final 17% reduction in the mean wait time. There was no impact on patient-physician contact time. Overall, we demonstrate how process improvement methodology and tools were used to reduce patient wait time in our clinic, adding to the body of literature on process improvement in an ambulatory setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere001550
JournalBMJ Open Quality
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding BG is supported by NIH Medical Scientist Training Programme T32 grant (NIGMS 2T32GM008244-33). This work was funded by the University of Minnesota Health (MHealth) Quality Improvement Collaborative, a collaboration between University of Minnesota Physicians and University of Minnesota Medical Centre (no award/grant number).

Publisher Copyright:
© Authors 2021

Keywords

  • ambulatory care
  • paediatrics
  • quality improvement

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