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Problem

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center — the world’s oldest and largest private cancer center — has devoted more than 130 years to exceptional patient care, innovative research, and outstanding educational programs. Today, MSKCC is one of 47 National Cancer Institute–designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers.

Improving patient wait times for infusion is of paramount importance for MSK. Over the course of the past 10 years, MSK has engaged with various consulting firms and process improvement experts – as well as their internal team of industrial engineers and analysts – in an attempt to design interactive tools that would help them better predict and plan for the extreme variability in operational workflows of their high volume infusion units which are distributed in New York City and the surrounding suburban areas. Most of these efforts yielded small and unsustainable improvement without offering MSK what it needed most: a predictive tool or simulation model that could be used for planning volume, visit distribution and resource utilization for their infusion units.

Solution

MSKCC leaders tested iQueue for Infusion Centers at its 13-chair Gynecologic Oncology Infusion unit in midtown Manhattan with the goal of optimizing their templates, providing daily management guidance about what to expect each day, understanding what went wrong and – most importantly – use schedule alert tools that help staff react to changing conditions.

Utilization Curve Before

Utilization Curve After

Results

31%
DECREASE IN
overall average
wait times
26%
DECREASE IN
average wait times
during peak hours
32%
DECREASE IN
average wait times
on peak days
22%
INCREASE IN
average volumes on
slowest day of the week
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