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Table 1 Phases of project development with results

From: Quality management: reduction of waiting time and efficiency enhancement in an ENT-university outpatients' department

  Analysis of strong and weak points (actual situation) Analysis of causalities Correcting measures Control of effectiveness
1) Unsatisfactory possibility of telephone contact Telephone appointment arrangement done additionally by all personnel of outpatients' department Establishment of a patient hotline; continuous availability; standardization of appointment arrangement for all patients; clear rules for emergencies after opening hours Patient survey (time: 6 months after introduction)
2) Little consultation activity No medical education of administrative staff and too little time Guaranteed and correct consultation by experienced nurse and medical team Patient opinion poll; analysis of waiting periods (time: 6 months after introduction)
3) Faulty utilization of office hours and speciality consulting hours Unknown expected workload because no reason was registered Modification of the appointments book: illness and/or reason for contact is written down Analysis of waiting periods, analysis of use to capacity of outpatients' department stuff survey (time: 6 months after introduction)
4) Bad plannability of medical and nursing work flow No relation between treatment time and symptoms Appointment arrangement dependent on symptoms or contact reason; time units defined for certain symptoms or treatments Analysis of waiting period (time: 6 months after introduction)
5) Little flexibility of the system Rigid appointment arrangement system Transition to flexible time planning by daily updates of appointments book Analysis of appointments book (unproductive phases) (daily)