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Evaluate Process Cycle Times When Handoffs Occur Between Departments

5/10/2007 4:51:30 PM - If you operate a clinic that does not have Point-of-Care testing, rather the results of the blood test are uploaded, emailed, faxed or mailed to the clinic for review via a laboratory or patient self-test, then you will need to monitor the entire cycle time of your processes.

The cycle time is measured nike running pas cher in terms of the patient, and is the amount of time that the patient has to wait until they receive their results and dosage change, from the time they get their blood drawn. In a typical process where results are reviewed by a third-party (virtual) clinic, there are many handoffs, which always increases the chance that the process is not completed in a timely manner.

For example, a patient will come into the lab for their scheduled appointment and get their blood drawn (we'll ignore the wait time in the lab for now). We start the clock at this point. Next, the blood is taken to the test equipment and tested (maybe 30 minutes to prepare and complete testing). Then the results are collected and submitted to the virtual clinic for review (around 10 minutes to complete). Once received at the clinic, the results must be received, entered into the medical records or management system (like INR Pro), and reviewed (another 10 to 15 minutes to complete). The review may include a discussion with the patient's physician, review of the patient's historical charts, a conversation with the patient,air max 90 pas cher or a review of the patient's medical records. Once the patient is contacted for the final time, then the patient cycle time is stopped.

When the entire cycle time process is evaluated within each department (such as the time between the blood draw and the results sent to the clinic), the cycle time doesn't seem that long. It may take only 30 minutes to test the blood, 10 minutes to sent the information to the clinic, 10 minutes to review the charts and talk to the physician, and 5 minutes to call the patient back. The whole process may appear to take only an hour, but since there are handoffs from one department to another, there will be delays. Once the results are sent to the clinic, there is no guarantee that the clinic is ready to process that lab result right away. They may wait 15 minutes before realizing that they received the results. When the blood results are obtained in the lab, it might sit in an outbox for 30 minutes, until a handful of results are collected, and faxed over all at once (also known as batching). When the nurse is reviewing the results, it might take 15 minutes to nike air max 97 locate and talk to the patient's physician, which is additional time the patient has to wait for their results.

In summary, these wait times around the handoffs need to be monitored to make sure they are processed efficiently and quickly. So when you look at the big picture from the patient's perspective, and include all these delays and wait times between handoffs, the time between the blood draw and the final results can run around 1 to 8 hours (and sometimes into the next day), which is a long time for the patient to wait for their results, especially when the INR results is high. Many clinics have an alternative process they use for INR values greater than 5 to prevent these results from getting hung up in the process.

INR Pro allows you to enter the blood draw time, the time the results were sent/faxed to the clinic, the time the results were entered into INR Pro, and the time the patient was contacted. This allows the clinics to manage the entire patient cycle time, and identify which area is causing the biggest delays, in order to get the results back to the patient as soon as possible. The system also displays these results using a dashboard chart, to show these times in a format similar to a speedometer.

It also allows you to define the appropriate range for green, yellow and red for each handoff, based on how your clinic has been performing, using a scale of either hours or minutes. This makes it easier to identify test results that take longer than normal to get back to the patient, where opportunities for improvement may exist.

INR Pro - patient anticoagulation tracking systemIf you would like to take advantage of these features with INR Pro, try our demo, or contact us for more information.