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Cardiac catherization team reduces wait times

catherterization team photo
The Cardiac Catheterization project team (from left): Heidi Adamko, Jeff Friesen, Charlene White, Ken Rannard, Denise Poettcker, Beverly Humphries, Greg Vachon, Paul Joudrey, Kelly Lewington, Steve Klassen, Rosanne Labossiere-Gee, Joyce Thomas.

BY MELANIE FATOUROS-RICHARDSON
Winnipeg Health Region
Published Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Working with over 30 clinicians, managers and support staff, the George and Fay Yee Center for Healthcare Innovation Project Management Office recently wrapped up a year-long project to reduce wait times for cardiac catheterization patients.

The goal was to design and implement new processes to improve scheduling, and focus on improving patients' access to care. The times decreased from five to six weeks down to 1.5 weeks for urgent outpatients, and from eight months to three weeks for elective outpatients.

Dr. Roger Philipp, Director Adult Cardiac Catheterization Labs, St. Boniface General Hospital (SBGH) was the project sponsor who oversaw the coordination of opening of a third catheterization lab at St. Boniface Hospital.

"The team, led by Process Engineers Heidi Adamko and Jeff Friesen, tirelessly worked at optimizing the flow of information from the time of the referral to the day of the procedure. They observed, listened and offered creative solutions to improve patient care in the Adult Cardiac Cath Labs at St. Boniface Hospital," said Philipp.

With the opening of the new lab and work done on streamlining activities, not only was the impact on patient accessibility, outcomes and access to care outstanding, but there was a reduction in the time it took to book patients, from over two weeks to less than one day.

To maintain productivity, a system was implemented that displays live statistics, such as wait times or the number of patients waiting for scheduling, clinic, or procedure by priority level.

Running alongside this project was an Echocardiography project. The goal was to improve scheduling at Health Sciences Centre (HSC) and SBGH for patients seeking Echocardiograms.

The work of over 27 clinicians, managers, and support staff from HSC and SBGH Echo departments and the University of Manitoba Engineering Program led to outstanding results of which the team can be very proud, including:

  • No-show rates at HSC were reduced by 66 per cent, resulting in 39 fewer no-shows per month
  • Roughly two hours of time was freed for Charge Sonographers at SBGH through the implementation of LEAN process improvement.
  • Implemented centralized booking of elective patients.
  • The average difference in wait time between HSC and SBGH in the 12 months before the implementation was 90 days, and 68 days in the four months prior. In the four months after implementation, the average difference in the wait time between sites was 11 days.

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