PatientWay Blog

Five steps to shorter lines and fewer FTEs – Part 2

Written by Jay Lawrence on February 16th, 2011. Posted in Hospital information systems, Hospital management, Hospital process redesign

images2 Five steps to shorter lines and fewer FTEs – Part 2Technology can be your best friend when dealing with resource and time waste challenges at your hospital.  Finding and implementing the right technology can deliver immediate benefits by improving workflows, automating routine activities, and interacting with existing systems within your hospital.

Step 2 – Identify Enabling Technologies

The types of technologies that can benefit your hospital, thanks to process improvements, include:

  • physician referral management
  • self-scheduling internet portal
  • self-registration internet portal
  • automated appointment reminder system
  • self-service kiosks for registration, check-in, way-finding, and payments
  • automated flagging of patients

Here is a closer look at the types of waste that may be prevalent at your hospital and how technology can address these issues:

Delay - Technology costs less than staff. Using self-service technology can make more access points available, thus reducing delays.
- Computer to computer interactions are faster than Human to computer.  By reducing human interactions, processes will become faster.
Duplication - Connect systems together to reuse information.
- Capture information directly from patients into systems rather than through intermediary staff.
Unnecessary movement - Eliminate unnecessary walking around by establishing registration access at key traffic areas, such as main entrances.
- Eliminate unnecessary trips to the hospital by allowing patients to communicate from home.
Unclear communication - Provide communication using visuals and audio, as well as in writing.
- Respond quickly to communication problems by updating technology immediately.
- Remind patients to reiterate information, such as their address and health card number.
Inventory - Provide patients with appointment reminders.
- Make clear communication with patients to eliminate misunderstanding and errors
Opportunity lost - Free up staff from mundane tasks in order to focus on providing excellent service.
Errors - Automate data verification
- Capture errors early and mitigate impact
- Allow patients to verify information

Has your hospital recently tried implementing new technologies to reduce waste?  We would love to hear about your experiences and lessons learned.

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Jay Lawrence

Jay Lawrence is the CEO of PatientWay, a leading provider of patient self-service technology and process improvement services.  Jay's vision of bringing measurable cost and time efficiencies to health care organizations, while improving patient and staff satisfaction, is quickly being realized as leading providers such as Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Southlake Regional Health Centre and the Stronach Cancer Care Centre, are just a few of the many that have adopted PatientWay technology. Jay is a recipient of the Ottawa Business Journal's Forty under 40 Award in 2009, Industry Canada Innovation Leader also in 2009, and Chair of the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) Path to Recognition (PTR) National Steering Committee.

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