Service Improvements 2004/5
In the past year, considerable focus has been given to improving the care and service for people attending the emergency department. Our vision was an urgent care service for our local population of such a high quality and outstanding repute that they could unfailingly and confidently recommend its use in a moment of emergency to their closest family. Our aim was to ensure that our patients experienced high quality clinical and customer care and a total journey time of below four hours from arrival to departure.
To do this we needed to understand the detail of what happens at each stage of the patientís pathway and so we applied improvement science techniques, which helped us to understand our performance. The key element of this approach is to understand the different types of variation in the system so that we could agree what management actions were appropriate in order to improve the system and achieve our goal.
This analysis helped managers, clinicians and staff make fundamental changes to the whole hospitalís service, not just the emergency department. As a result and after a year of what felt like constant change, the emergency department and the hospital has a system in place that produces a consistent performance.
Radiology reporting times
This year we also undertook a major project in Radiology to improve reporting times particularly for GP requests. A number of process-mapping techniques were used to identify bottlenecks and constraints within the system, and audits were undertaken to measure waiting times throughout the process.
A range of changes were made to the systems we use resulting in major improvements in the waiting times for reports and reductions in the time taken to transfer reports to GPs.
We are now the only Trust in the North Central London sector to transfer reports electronically to GPs. Work in the radiology department continues.