Less Wait Time…Priceless
- Patient Satisfaction results from outpatient radiology service lines provided evidence that there was a lack of standardization and thereby a lack of efficiency from the patient’s arrival to registration.
- Delays caused decreased patient satisfaction and increased turnaround time for scheduled services.
- Radiology Imaging and Access Services were not meeting the health care system corporate goal for patient lobby wait time of 2.25 minutes or less.
Access Services and Radiology outpatient areas at a hospital will decrease the combined outpatient lobby wait times from 5.86 to 2.25 minutes by standardizing workflow and providing education and accountability processes for all team members.
- Streamlined registration process for rehabilitation patients.
- Created a pre-registration packet to facilitate patient flow. Prevented registrars from leaving the reception area to complete registration and expedite patient care.
- Revised scheduling protocol for invalid outpatient order process.
- Provided training to improve registration turn-around time and accountability for employees who were not aware of their performance.
- Provided weekly feedback regarding each employee’s registration times. The health care system goal was 7 minutes or less. Any employee who was over the system goal received one- on-one coaching to improve.
- Because patients complained of having to complete the same questions if seen in the last 30 days, a process was established to print the patient’s last medical history form for review.
- Since transplant patients have an existing active patient account, a process was created to “speed pass” through the registration and eliminate the need to re-register.
- Centralized Access Services facilitated the precertification process for the hospital, ensuring verification was completed for all radiology exams prior to the patient’s arrival.
- Implemented Televox, an automated dialing system for the full pre-registration team, enabling more patients to be registered prior to their exam.
Development of a “no concierge protocol” promoted a “one-stop- shop” that allowed patients to bypass the registration booth. Development of an “escalation plan” enabled the frontline team to request additional resources to support increased patient volumes. Average lobby wait time of 5.86 minutes was reduced to 0.82 minutes (a reduction of 2 minutes per lobby wait time and 4 minutes for registration time). This process was presented to and adopted by outpatient and women’s’ imaging sites at various hospitals and health care organizations.