The North Carolina-based Novant Health is a non-profit integrated healthcare network that comprises 15 hospitals and more than 350 physician practices offering advanced medical treatments across multiple states. Utilizing purposeful innovation is core to Novant Health’s strategy for delivering an exceptional healthcare experience for patients. As with any large health system, Novant Health struggled to align an unpredictable pattern of demand for appointments with a limited supply of physicians, staff, equipment, and infusion centers.
Novant Health infusion centers in particular experienced critical day-to-day operational challenges. The centers saw a daily midday crunch of high patient volumes, which overwhelmed infusion resources. These scheduling patterns contributed to long patient wait times and in turn high patient dissatisfaction at Novant Health infusion centers. Nurses were also consistently overworked from the patient bottlenecks. Utilization curves of Novant Health infusion centers showed the consistency of these midday appointment peaks and slow mornings and evenings, a pattern that led to frequent overflow in waiting rooms for vulnerable patients. Novant Health infusion centers needed a solution to level midday scheduling peaks so they could operate safely and efficiently at capacity throughout the day.
As part of its dedication to innovation for better patient care, Novant Health infusion centers piloted iQueue for Infusion Centers at its Presbyterian Medical Center in Charlotte. The solution’s optimized scheduling templates, based on historic appointment data, helped to solve the midday spike in appointments and reduce patient wait times. At this location, the Novant Health infusion center waiting room was intentionally designed to be small, and iQueue ensured appropriate use of that space by streamlining how quickly patients were seen. Patients are now scheduled at a steadier pace throughout the day, creating shorter wait time and improving patient flow. The Novant Health infusion center can now see additional patients throughout the day, and nurse burnout is reduced. Utilization curves post-iQueue now show even workloads throughout the day, allowing for more predictable schedules for nurses and patients alike, and capacity created to accommodate unexpected delays and add-ons.