How Catalysis Community Members are Managing the Vaccine process and New Processes for Patient Flow

We have had many reflections sent to us after my first email letter went out last month. Here are a few highlights:

First for vaccinations:

From Dr. Joy Dobson in Saskatchewan “We are designing  a U cell of six spots around a centre that has everything to do "one chair work" for the client -  registration and recovery. A vaccinator could be assigned to multiple cells as their work is the fastest. It is small batches but I think it will work!” From Rick Kennedy PI leader at Presbyterian health in Albuquerque N.M. “All vaccination registration and prioritization goes through the Department of Health (DOH).    All NM residents register with DOH, who then prioritizes and schedules at established vaccination sites operated by UNM, Presbyterian, Walgreens, etc.  Once our vaccination site is connected to the DOH portal, all we have to do is manage the supply of vaccine that the state provides (that matches the patients they’ve scheduled with us) and manage our own vaccination sites.  Prioritizing the populace, scheduling second doses, rescheduling no-shows, symptom screening, etc. are all managed by the state.  It’s pretty slick.  It’s not perfect - we have to verify insurance if we want to bill insurance for the administration, and there are some public complaints about the prioritization.  But it’s a lot better than if we were sent vaccine and told good luck. Presbyterian’s mass vaccination site goes live next week, with an eventual capacity of 2-4,000 per day”. From David Ferrin, Operations Innovation Engineer at Honor Health “We have had numerous innovations during this past year with the challenges we’ve all been experiencing.  First off, we decided to use computer simulation to update our surge plan in light of the impact of Covid and optimize identification of our triggers for our system-wide surge plan.  We also did a model which looked into the question of “could we have one Covid hospital in the HonorHealth system which would take all Covid patients.  When the vaccine came out we were part of the primary design team of the vaccination administration process in the HonorHealth drive-through POD in our county.  Day one, first hour it was heralded as one of the best customer service oriented processes to be found will little to no patient waiting at any point in the process.  We have since moved into the clinic setting which will be the next resource for administering the vaccines. Two of these clinics have already been implemented. Simulation is a lean, six sigma advanced tool primarily used in the DFSS (Design For Six Sigma) phase of projects.  When built well by experienced teams it will tell you the impact of an alternative process with high accuracy.  With the Covid Vaccination process, the senior management team wanted great customer experience combined with no waiting.  Although there wasn’t a set budget, they wanted good efficiency.  The models delivered on all fronts.  Our average patient cycle time from entering the property to leaving the property was just under 25 minutes including the 15/30 minute observation time.  Employee/Volunteer efficiency was 80-85%.  Above that range and the process experienced significant queuing.  Also provided every evening to the site command for the following day, was an hour by hour staffing plan  based upon expected patients.  The process hummed like a finely tuned engine.  It was truly a ‘fun’ project”.

Second for New Care Model Development.

Sam Nordberg Behavioral Health director at Reliant Health and former Atrius Innovation team member described a wonderful new process that has increased metal health patient flow and diverted more than 1700 patients from what would have been an ER visit to other more effective treatment options. It starts with the PCP office. Any patient identified by as needing behavioral health intervention is immediately referred to a person described as a behavioral health partner. These people are trained in assessing mental health problems and within 72 hours the outpatient is placed into either a video visit or other treatment option. There are 25 behavioral health partners for 140 PCPs. The patients are happier and better care for and their problems are quickly addresses. The savings in ER visits alone pays for the program. It’s a great example of a new care model. Thanks to all who have shared with me. John

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