Use of Value Stream Mapping to Reduce Outpatient CT Scan Wait Times.
J Am Coll Radiol. 2018 Jan;15(1 Pt A):82-85. doi: 10.1016/j.jacr.2017.07.003. Epub 2017 Sep 1. Dako F1, Cobb R2, Verdi S3, Grygorenko M3, Patel T2, Zink R2, Belden C2.
As the transition to a value-based health economy continues, there is increasing pressure on radiology departments to provide patient-centered and efficient care that helps their hospital systems achieve high patient satisfaction and reduce operating costs. Radiology’s role in affecting patient satisfaction cannot be overstated, as a considerable number of hospital visits involve services provided through the radiology department. Patients’ perceptions of quality and satisfaction in a diagnostic radiology department, unlike in most other departments in the hospital, are usually based solely on nonclinical indicators. Perceived wait time has been shown to be a significant predictor of overall patient satisfaction in radiology departments . Thus, patient idle time becomes a primary differentiator between a positive and a negative overall patient experience, even affecting confidence in care providers and perceived care quality . Efficient patient flow can also increase patient volume as a result of increased scanner utilization. This further highlights the need for radiology departments to dedicate time and resources into improving the efficiency of patient flow. Analysis of the ordering, scheduling, payment, and registering processes for diagnostic examinations and the patient flow within a department can reveal inefficiencies and areas of improvement at any point along this continuum.