Dr. Clearway Pain Solutions Pensacola, Florida, United States
Objectives: The purpose of this study is to improve patient wait times at an Ambulatory Surgery Center. Previous study data focused on identifying causes of start/stop time delays. The delays were found to occur throughout the patient encounter. Delay in wait times were noted to be attributed to the following: physicians picking which case they will do next regardless of schedule , nurses inadvertently pulling patients into procedure room out of case order, physicians spending more time in the procedure causing schedule delays, and overbooking schedules. It was hypothesized that changes would have to occur throughout the facility to impact wait times.
Through specific changes throughout the facility ( including physicians, schedulers, and staff)f this study aimed to implement changes to improve wait times.
Design: Using previous identified delays in wait times, controls were implemented to help reduce wait times. Changes were implemented involving physicians, schedulers, and nursing staff. The changes included physicians reducing skipping patients, nurses not going out of scheduled procedure order, and fast tracking patient check-in for patients who do not need to pay a co-pay/co-insurance by allowing them to check-in 30 minutes prior to their procedure. Start/Stop times were recorded and compared to previous month.
Results: According to 81 start/stop times reported and compared to previous month. Pre-procedure time: 67 minutes wait compared to 92 minute average the previous month. Procedure time: 7.6 minute wait compared to 9 minute average. . Discharge time: 17.55 minute wait compared 19 minutes. Facility time: The average facility time was 92 minutes compared to 120 minutes the previous month.
Conclusions: Continual patient wait time complaints will decrease revenue and cause low patient satisfaction scores. Implementation of a wait time plan should include physician, schedulers, and facility staff. Implementing changes throughout the ambulatory surgery helps to reduce patient wait times in an ambulatory surgery center.