VVH Patient Services Department Case Study

I need help with a Health & Medical question. All explanations and answers will be used to help me learn.

VVH Patient Services Department Welcome Packet

VVH has undertaken a number of marketing and population health projects to attract new patients.  As part of this work their leader, Julie Hammond, has decided that it would be helpful for new patients to understand the breadth of VVH services and to provide a tangible acknowledgment of their appreciation for choosing VVH.  

Therefore, the Patient Services department has developed a process to create a bag/packet for each new primary care patient in their system.   The process includes 5 steps:

Station 1:         Look up the new patient in the Electronic Record, generate name label

Station 2:         Grab VVH bag and insert folder

Station 3:         Take folder out and add in general VVH information

Station 4          Look up patient’s age/sex and then proceed to shelf to grab the correct
                       healthcare wellness item, add item to gift bag.

Station 5:         Add bow to top of bag – inspect to assure that all items are correctly

Five employees in Patient services met to create their first set of bags as an experiment.  They collected processing data for the first 20 bags and the data is included in this website as VVH Patient Packet Process Data.xls.   Throughput data was also collected on every 5th bag.  Quality data was also collected.  The team noticed that their process was not very efficient and many of the team spent too much time waiting. 

ACTION TO BE TAKEN FOR THIS QUESTION: Do a six brief sigma analysis on the current state process and make recommendations for improvement. 

Expert Solution Preview

The current process of creating patient packets for new primary care patients at VVH has been analyzed and found to be inefficient. As a medical professor, my recommendation for improvement would be to conduct a six sigma analysis of the current state process.

Six Sigma is a data-driven methodology used for process improvement and quality control in various industries, including healthcare. It is a systematic and disciplined approach that aims to reduce defects and variability in processes. In the case of VVH’s patient packet process, a six sigma analysis can help identify and eliminate waste, reduce waiting times, improve efficiency, and increase patient satisfaction.

The six sigma analysis process consists of five phases: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control (DMAIC). In the Define phase, the problem and project goals are defined, and a project team is assembled. The Measure phase involves identifying and measuring key performance indicators (KPIs) and collecting data. In the Analyze phase, the team analyzes the data to identify the root causes of problems and opportunities for improvement. In the Improve phase, the team develops and implements solutions to address the root causes and improve the process. Finally, the Control phase involves monitoring the process to ensure that the improvements are sustained over time.

To implement the six sigma analysis in VVH’s patient packet process, the project team should follow the DMAIC methodology. They should define the problem and goals, assemble a team, and identify KPIs in the Define phase. In the Measure phase, they should collect data on processing time, waiting time, and patient satisfaction. In the Analyze phase, they should use statistical tools to analyze the data and identify the root causes of inefficiencies. In the Improve phase, they should develop and implement solutions such as redesigning the process flow, reducing handoffs, and reallocating resources. In the Control phase, they should monitor the process and use control charts to ensure that the improvements are sustained over time.

Overall, a six sigma analysis can help VVH’s Patient Services department improve the efficiency and quality of their patient packet process, thereby enhancing patient satisfaction and loyalty. By implementing the DMAIC methodology, the project team can identify and eliminate waste, reduce variability, and continuously improve the process.

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