Excellent service processes are fast processes — this is the universal truth of service operations. Just as the water level in the bay hides the rocks from visibility, high levels of inventory mask underlying problems in manufacturing or logistics. Extending the analogy to service, long process times mask all kinds of service inefficiencies, such as… Read More

It seems as if news about another hospital laying off workers–or worse, closing–hits the news everyday; at last count 21 hospitals stopped treating patients in 2016. Hospitals and healthcare systems across the country, including some of the largest, laid off thousands of employees. In November 2016 alone, 13 providers eliminated more than 1,000 jobs. In September,… Read More

While reimbursement requirements are a major driver of this focus, reducing LOS can also decrease the number of hospital-acquired conditions (HACs), which are subject to payment reductions of their own. Efforts to reduce LOS have led to a flurry of research into factors that impact LOS and how to address them. Due to the diversity… Read More

Hat tip to Sharon O’Keefe, CEO of the University of Chicago Medical Center, for introducing the phrase “make your assets sweat” to our team, which inspired me to write this article. The Affordable Care Act, increased government regulations and rising healthcare costs are forcing hospitals to do more with less. Last year, several major healthcare networks… Read More

Anyone who has ever had the misfortune of dealing with a cancer diagnosis — either personally or as a caregiver to a friend or loved one — must have at some point wondered why they invariably had to wait well past their treatment appointment time, every time. The root cause is that the healthcare scheduling system is broken. Healthcare providers… Read More

One minute of utilized operating room (OR) time can be worth more than $70 in revenue and one minute of staffed OR time can cost $50 or more, making underutilized OR time a huge problem. Each year, roughly 51 million surgeries are performed in the 5,000+ hospitals and 5,000+ surgery centers in the U.S. MGMA… Read More

Most large, complex health systems rely on block schedules for managing the complexity of operating room utilization. The concept has a visceral appeal to it — give the surgeon or the service line a full-day or a half-day block, and leave the scheduling of procedures within the block to the block owner since they are… Read More

Consumerization of EHR For decades, companies and regulators have been trying to “fix” the EHR. But since the passage of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) in 2009 — a $30 billion effort to transform healthcare delivery through widespread use of EHR technology — the “next generation” EHR is becoming a reality, and it will… Read More

13 reasons why a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-scrubs approach to patient scheduling needs to change If you’re a patient reading this article while waiting for a doctor or nurse to show up, take a moment to appreciate the irony. You may be sitting in an exam room by yourself, but you’re hardly alone. According to the 2015 Vitals Wait Time… Read More