Optimizing efficiency and operations at endoscopy centers

Dr. Lukejohn DayLukejohn Day, MD Assistant Professor at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine presents this discussion on his Original Article “Optimizing efficiency and operations at a California safety-net endoscopy center: a modeling and simulation approach.”

Improvements in endoscopy center efficiency are needed, but scant data are available. Our objective was to identify opportunities to improve patient throughput while balancing resource utilization and patient wait times in a safety-net endoscopy center.

There has been a dramatic rise in the request for gastrointestinal specialty care, and in particular endoscopic services in the last decade. This increase has been most notable in safety-net hospitals whereby GI is the most frequently requested specialty service. At the same time, access to specialized GI care can be challenging within specific healthcare systems. Such disparities highlight the need for creative and innovative ways to increase access to GI care for underserved patient populations in light of increasing demand for such services.

Through observation, time and motion study and discrete event simulation modeling we demonstrated that in a large, diverse safety-net hospital endoscopy center that weekly patterns, although variable, are predictable and provide insight and recommendations as to what potential changes are beneficial. We illustrate that patient throughput as well as provider and nursing utilization are substantially increased with only simple changes such as decreasing endoscopy appointment times, realigning the endoscopy schedule with patient preferences for early morning appointments and minimizing and streamlining the recovery room and pre-procedure process. Additional improvements in throughput are possible but only with additional costly human resources, over utilizing nurses and unacceptable patient wait times.

Figure 3

Read the abstract for this article online.

The information presented in Endoscopedia reflects the opinions of the authors and does not represent the position of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE). ASGE expressly disclaims any warranties or guarantees, expressed or implied, and is not liable for damages of any kind in connection with the material, information, or procedures set forth.

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