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August 10, 2012

Reorganizing for Optimal Workflow

Healthcare facilities regularly work to be more process-oriented as they strive to manage healthcare from a process and procedure perspective as a means to enhance quality, foster cost efficiency, and improve communication. 

Clinical & Operational Design:
How can we assure we are designing to meet the needs for the healthcare environment, while enhancing patient/equipment flow and saving on operating costs?

A few things to look at during the clinical and operational re-organization stages of your department or facility include:

  • Review potential movement patterns, volumes, and travel time
    • Assess time scenarios associated with adding more equipment and resources throughout the facility (efficiencies can often counter intuitively plateau or decrease with new resources)
  • Keep patient flow separate from staff traffic patterns in order to ease overcrowding in pathways
  • Concentrate on interdepartmental communication and activities on every floor
  • Centralize resources and services as a way to improve resource management

Supply Management
How will supply delivery systems affect design?

Critical oversights in the areas of inventory management and control, purchasing and many other aspects of supply chain management can prove detrimental for the financial well-being and accountability of your healthcare practice.  A sample supply chain reorganization process is outlined below:

  • Develop options - just in time, procedural packaging, supply replenishment, etc.
  • Discuss with key administration
  • Develop initial criteria for vendors
  • Based on input, contact vendors with criteria
  • Meet with vendors (with hospital representatives) to discuss services and pricing considerations
  • Develop recommendations based on input and presentations
  • Meet with administration to review/discuss
  • Finalize for design planning and space considerations

Operational Modeling
Can we plan for different scenarios?

Process mapping examines how staff, materials, communication and information flow  throughout hospital departments, bearing in mind existing conditions and anticipated impending changes, offering a snapshot of what it will require in terms of clinical design components for hospital operational effectiveness and proficiency.

  • Assess patient flow points for scenario planning (patients, staff, nurse stations)
  • Determine projected volumes affecting modeling
  • Evaluate cost versus usage, with considerations including patient flow analysis and marketing
  • Develop scenario models
  • Implementation

Healthcare facilities face major challenges associated with the integration of patients and staff members, policies and procedures, technology, politics, and other variables, and because of these challenges, the operational and clinical design of your facility must be able to adapt to the intricate interactions between individuals, methodologies, and the environment.

Read the full article from Executive Insight.

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