PatientWay Blog

Five steps to shorter lines and fewer FTEs – Part 3

Written by Jay Lawrence on February 22nd, 2011. Posted in Hospital information systems, Hospital management, Hospital process redesign, Patient registrations, Patient Self-Service, PatientWay

This third and final part of our series on achieving shorter lines and fewer FTEs highlights the last three steps of our process redesign.

Step 3 – Organizational Realignment

The redesigned scheduling and registration flow will require positions and roles to change within your hospital. The goal is to re-centralize scheduling and registration (supported by self-service technology), and making these type of changes will require realignment of human resources and budget.


For example, lets imagine that a clinic is staffed by three clerks.  With a centralized scheduling and registration model, only one clerk is required to be in the clinic, so a team of two clerks should be sufficient to manage all scheduling and registration activities during open hours. That extra FTE can now be reallocated to another part of the hospital to fill an open position, thus creating an operations cost savings.

Southlake Five steps to shorter lines and fewer FTEs – Part 3

Before realigning your human resources following a process redesign, consider the following:

  • Identify the appropriate staff that could be reallocated from decentralized areas
  • Revise classifications & job descriptions
  • Analyze patient volume and flow, create a formula for staffing needs
  • Determine appropriate FTEs budget transfer from decentralized areas

It is also important to anticipate the impact of a realignment on your hospital, so begin the planning process early and work closely with the department heads in question to roll-out an effective change management plan.

Step 4 – Pilot Revised Process

Select a pilot clinic with a reasonably isolated patient population that can be closely monitored. A good example is a fracture clinic. The new registration flow is applied to this population in a carefully controlled manner. A pilot will generate learnings that can then be adapted to a wider roll out process.

Don’t forget to identify your KPIs (key performance indicators) to measure the success of your pilot. Examples of KPIs include

  • registration staff cost / patient processed
  • data errors / patient processed
  • patient satisfaction

Regularly take baseline measures of the KPIs.  This will help you and your team to continuously enhance your registration process, making it easier for a wider roll-out across your organization.

Step 5 – Widen Rollout of Revised Process

Develop a roll out plan that takes into account the necessary risk management steps. For example, choosing similar clinics (i.e. from the fracture clinic roll-out to all ambulatory clinics) for the next stage of your roll-out will provide a smoother transition from old flow to new.

By turning the initial roll-outs into success stories, the other areas of the hospital will be better prepared (and excited!) for the transition.

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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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