Posted by: knightbird | July 22, 2011

The Frustration of Waiting for An Appointment

Chugachmiut’s former Sensei and his partners at Rona Consulting Group—Dr. Tom Jackson, are mentoring our friends at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center. As their demand for primary care services has increased, and resources remain static, they have seen the need for drastic improvement. Using the A-3T, they have identified the problem, researched the factual basis for their problem statement and set an ambitious goal of reducing the amount of time it takes to make an appointment by a substantial amount. One way to do this is by adding additional staff to answer calls. During peak call times, the average wait time has increased from an average of 25 minutes to an average of 60 minutes. Many patients must call over a period of days to finally make contact with appointment staff.

The A-3T can be seen here. This tool is one used every day at Chugachmiut. When an employee approaches me with a problem they have identified, I ask them for an A-3T. Have you developed the problem statement? What are the facts? Who owns the value stream being worked on? Who is the leader of the improvement team? What is the improvement goal? This document is a thinking persons standard work, and it is effective. I recommend you read the full post by Contra Costa. It represents both excellent leadership and great mentoring.

Chugachmiut went from waiting for up to 4 weeks for appointments to same day appointments in a short period of time. While our demand is not as great as Contra Costa’s, and we are nowhere near as big, the tools work the same in both our cultures.

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