Introduction: Start Here

If you’ve come to this section of the website, you’re probably asking yourself: “What can I do now?” This section is for the action oriented. Let’s get started.


There are four key phases to redesigning the patient visit:


  • Understanding (truly) your current patient visit process.
  • Creating a new patient visit process (The Redesign Model).
  • Testing and refining the redesign model (Iterative Testing).
  • Implementing the honed and tested model.


While conceptually simple, the road to successful Patient Visit Redesign is fraught with hazards. It’s improbable—though not impossible—that you will have a successful redesign journey without experienced external assistance.


But the articles and tools in this section can guide you through the first phase of redesign—understanding your current patient visit process—without mishap. And, after you finish this phase, our Ideal Patient Visit (PDF) exercise can help you begin the second phase: Creating a new patient visit process.


Now back to the first phase. Here’s the rub. At this moment, many of you are saying: “But I already know what doesn’t work well in our clinic. What I don’t know is how to fix it.” A word of wisdom from the most experienced consultants in the field: Most of you will be wrong. If you fail to achieve an honest and correct understanding of your clinic’s root problems, then your “solutions” will be utterly ineffective.


A long-time CBS news anchor once commented: “The root of all problems is solutions.” In other words, the wrong solutions create problems rather than solve problems. Donald Berwick, CEO of the Institute of Healthcare Improvement (IHI), puts it another way: “All improvement is change, but not all change is improvement.” So, dispense with your preconceptions and put the exercises and tools in this section to work.


Steps 1 through 3 will guide you through this initial phase of redesign. Each step requires that you complete the prior step. Our advice: Don’t even look at the next step until you’re ready to do the work. After completing the final step, you will have an accurate picture of your current visit process and an understanding of what ails it. Start by reviewing the Patient Visit Tracking Toolkit.

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