National Academy of Medicine

By Lisa Brandenburg, Patricia Gabow, Glenn Steele, John Toussaint, Bernard J. Tyson
February 11, 2015 | Discussion Paper

In Innovation and Best Practices in Health Care Scheduling, CEOs with experience leading change in five of the nation’s prominent health systems-Denver Health, Geisinger Health System, Kaiser Permanente, ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value, and Seattle Children’s Hospital describe how they tackled the complex issues surrounding wait times throughout the continuum of care. They review the important forces shaping wait times in health care, the evolving use of techniques and tools from other industries to improve health care access, and the move toward a person centered model of care. Although the organizations differ in size, populations served, and institutional constructs, the authors acknowledge that improving access and scheduling requires systems level transformation and that such transformation can uncover previously unrecognized resources and improve all aspects of care delivery. They provide case examples from their institutions to highlight three overarching principles: the application of a system-wide view, the use of a disciplined methodology (such as Lean, six sigma, or modeling and prediction tools) for redesign, and a foundation of respect for people.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and not necessarily of the authors’ organizations, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), or the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the National Academies). The paper is intended to help inform and stimulate discussion. It is not a report of the NAM or the National Academies. Copyright by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.