There’s a lot for patients to dislike about going to see the doctor these days. It often begins with the frustration of an impersonal, incomprehensible auto-attended phone system and being put on hold when the patient finally reaches a real person.
Then there’s the interminable waiting—for a convenient and timely appointment, for registering after arriving for the appointment, as well as the big wait before seeing the clinician (finally!). All for fifteen minutes of face time with the doctor, on average, who is trying hard to listen but is frequently interrupted by other staff and distracted knowing that other patients are waiting to be seen.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s not just patients who are frustrated. Clinicians are frustrated by processes and systems that stymie their quest for quality patient care. Clinic staff members are numbed by all the rules, policies, procedures, forms, papers, and hierarchy that stifle creativity and individual effectiveness.
Patient Visit Redesign™ is about work process design and teamwork. It is focused on the end-user of your services—the patient—though the benefits of redesign are reaped by the staff and the organization as well.
The goal of redesign is to virtually eliminate patient waiting. Redesign requires you to look at the way you accomplish work with a fresh perspective, starting from scratch to recreate a patient visit process that is efficient and above all patient-focused.
It is best to think of redesign (or reengineering) not as an “improvement methodology”, but rather as a method that seeks to transform the patient experience, the health care workplace, and the organization as a whole.
A transformed patient experience means easy access to care, minimal waiting time during visits, and a significant drop in clinical errors (i.e., patient safety). A transformed workplace is an exciting place to work where learning is optimal, teamwork the norm, and everyone can work to her/his full potential. And, a transformed organization is optimally productive, financially healthy, technologically savvy, and hierarchically flat. Such an organization adapts quickly and well to change.