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Reengineering the registration process to reduce wait time queues in an outpatient diagnostic center

Welsh, Jacqueline and Liu, Tony and Tran, Amy and Wen, Qing and Luangkesorn, Louis (2019) Reengineering the registration process to reduce wait time queues in an outpatient diagnostic center. Working Paper. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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The St. Clair Hospital Outpatient Center is an outpatient clinic that offers services such as lab work, CT and MRI scans, and other diagnostic testing. They have three patient types, walk-in patients, pre-scheduled patients, and patients for scheduling. To go through the registration process, each patient must first check-in at the check-in desk, wait to be called to the registration desk, and the finally wait to be called for their appointment. Since every patient must first check-in at the check-in desk, a large queue will build up, forcing patients to stand and wait. This long and uncomfortable wait proved to be a pain point for patients and a source of patient dissatisfaction.


To start the improvement process, the team used previously collected data as well as their own observations to build multiple simulation models to test different staffing alternatives. Their first simulation model, the original model (1 check-in staff, 2 registration staff, and 2 scheduling staff), yielded a large bottleneck of 11 people at check-in and a wait time of over 27 minutes.


After testing, the team determined the best alternative to combine check-in and scheduling staff (three total) and have two registration staff, thus reducing the wait times, and reducing the check-in queue to 2 people. However, this pushes the queue to the registration process. The team then recommend using human factor methods such as posting wait times, providing entertainment, and re-configuring seating to increase visibility of the process.


By reconfiguring the registration staff, this will reduce the initial check-in queue and reduce patient waiting time to check-in to their appointment. Although this will push the wait time to the waiting area instead of the check-in queue, by providing said human factors methods, the patient experience will improve.


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Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Tran, Amyant115@pitt.eduant115
Wen, Qingqiw47@pitt.eduqiw57
Luangkesorn, Louislluangkesorn@pitt.edulol110000-0002-6148-0015
Monograph Type: Working Paper
Date: 19 April 2019
Date Type: Completion
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Department: Industrial Engineering
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Health Policy & Management
Swanson School of Engineering > Industrial Engineering
Refereed: No
Uncontrolled Keywords: : simulation, patient satisfaction, human factors, wait time, queueing, healthcare systems engineering
Date Deposited: 19 May 2020 15:27
Last Modified: 19 May 2020 15:27


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