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Workflow management analysis and process improvement

April 22, 2017 Case Study 1 min read
Sharon Ulep
Multicampus health system eliminates wasted time and enhances communication, achieving a $48 million improvement in operations.

Image of people meeting 

The client

A multi-billion dollar teaching and tertiary health system with multiple campuses and over 1,000 providers.

The challenge

The health system was experiencing a significant decline in margins while labor FTEs throughout the organization were increasing disproportionally to patient volumes. The health system had engaged a large national consulting firm to perform labor productivity just three years prior, and no improvement was achieved through the process, leaving management doubtful of any successful new consulting implementation.

The solution

We were engaged initially to perform a test-case for 25 labor cost centers at the main campus facility. Within a 100-day period, a 200+ FTE reduction was identified and agreed to by affected department managers.Subsequently, we performed a comprehensive workforce management analysis and process improvement engagement for six hospitals, clinic operations, and the general corporate services of the organization.
The process improvement initiative included several clinical departments. Of note, the respiratory therapy department had trouble reaching an ambitious labor productivity benchmark. We immediately identified an issue in the ability for respiratory therapists to access patients. Our team created a plan for improved technology to inform therapists of patient availability, leading to productive patient visits and an increased workload. The improved process eliminated wasted time and enhanced communication.

The benefit

We continued to work with the organization for an additional 15 months and achieved a total reduction of over 800 FTEs. We coached and supported the management in making reductions through attrition and restructuring. Overall, the system obtained a $48 million improvement in operations.

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