Using the Theory of Constraints to Supercharge Inpatient Throughput

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Patient Throughput

J Timothy Connor
Rodeo! Performance Group, Inc.

Janice Cerveny
Rodeo! Performance Group, Inc.

With healthcare in a crisis arising from diminishing reimbursement, rising costs, labor shortages, and increasing liabilities, a means needs to be found to reduce internal process cycle time and greatly increase revenues. This workshop will open up idea of inpatient process alignment using Eliyahu Goldratt's Theory of Constraints, an approach that addresses all these issues while significantly reducing organizational conflict.

Too often, the functional approach to organizing hospitals has resulted in disappointing results from performance improvement efforts, even when significant time and money are allocated to those efforts. The Theory of Constraints ideally addresses the lack of sustainability of these results, showing that the functional management and budgeting approach not only breaks down improvement efforts, but results in increased conflict throughout the organization.

This presentation showcases a hospital improvement initiative that significantly reduced length of stay, reduced patients holding in the emergency room, greatly lowered conflict among departments, and began generating new revenues that were on track to reach about $15 million.