Managing an effective patient flow - A single ward´s impact on the acute patient flow
Examensarbete för masterexamen
Quality and operations management (MPQOM), MSc
The increasing pressure on healthcare resources in Sweden requires that the system becomes more efficient and not only focus on additional resources as the solution since the healthcare also has legal responsibility for delivering care as cost-effective as possible. An identified factor that creates lower productivity in Sweden than in other Nordic countries is a slow patient flow. To create an efficient and leveled flow it is important that wards that affect each other have synchronized flows and also overview the whole patient flow instead of focusing only on a single ward when making improvements to prevent sub optimizations. The purpose with this master thesis is to give practical suggestions for a more efficient work with patient flow. This purpose is addressed by investing how a specific ward works with patient flow, both the acute and the elective, at a medium sized hospital. Furthermore, the study examines the coordination of the acute flow on an overall level and how it is affected of the work in the specific ward. Usage of Lean philosophy and process development have been shown to have great results in complex organizational environments. One such environment is the healthcare system, with several ingoing components, as well as different wards dependent on each other's functionality and therefore where it is important to improve the processes across the interfaces. Based on the analysis and the discussion three major improvement areas where found; i) Planning operations and separation of patient flows; ii) standardization and visualization of communication and processes; iii) Continuously work with improvements to evaluate and improve the processes. Several practical suggestions to create an efficient flow at the studied hospital are also presented in the conclusion.
Transport , Övrig industriell teknik och ekonomi , Transport , Other industrial engineering and economics