Enhancing clients’ experience: reducing waiting times through
use of Computerised Patient-Flow Analysis in a Fertility Control Clinic
B.A. Gbolade, M.W Isidienu, T.T Wokoma
St. James’s University Hospital, Fertility Control Unit,
Leeds, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Introduction Long waiting times are common problems in
all outpatient clinics with the resultant effects of patient dissatisfaction
with the services. Long waiting times also have the potential to create barriers
to utilisation of such services and problems for clients and staff. The problem
of long waiting times becomes more acute in relation to clients attending for
termination of pregnancy who are already experiencing high stress levels.
Objective To asses client. waiting times while going
through the various procedures and stages in their routes through the clinic
system with a view to identifying organisational and client factors which
contribute to long waiting times
Methods A quick assessment of the situation in the clinic
waiting area was undertaken initially. The initial impression of long waiting
times engendered a more thorough study of client flow and waiting times. The
clinics’ policies of staffing, appointment times and procedures were reviewed.
The time clients spent at each station in the system were measured in eight
clinics over a period of one month Client Flow Forms were completed for each
patient at each station. Data from all eligible completed forms were entered
into a Computerized Patient-Flow Analysis program (CDC, Atlanta, USA). The
eligible data was summarized to show the time each client spent in contact with
staff, time spent waiting in-between stations and time spent overall in the
Results One important feature of the preliminary results
was the contribution of patients arriving too early for their appointments
toward the overall time spent in the clinic; a factor outside our control.
Bottlenecks and other areas for improvement were identified and detailed results
will be available at the time of the congress.
Conclusions The preliminary results of analysis of our
data suggests that patient flow analysis of waiting times can be a useful tool
in enhancing the patients experience of fertility control services, although
some factors may be outside the control of the organisation.