Action 2: Identify near-term solutions to cope with the peak in patient inflow
With insights into the extent of the accumulated backlog and flexibility of parameters surrounding your typical patient flow and capacity, challenges to achieving a smooth and sustainable flow may emerge. It is important to visualize solutions that can make the demand for care achievable.
Solutions may involve enhanced use of technology, workflow optimization, spatial layout adjustments, sharing of care across a network, cross-training and elasticity of staffing patterns, and phased care for selected patient populations. In short, you must make the time the patient spends in the care area [e.g. imaging department] most effective – targeted at the specific clinical demands for the service provided. The goal is not to do what you used to do faster, but rather to innovate on processes in a way that makes them resilient, to ensure the best use of available resources, and then adapt, augment, and expand as necessary.
Considerations in this phase may involve a temporarily scaling up to protect the most vulnerable patients for whom a deterioration in their condition may have significant consequences. In addition, these solutions should fundamentally improve the efficiency of how you deliver care in a manner that provides a safe environment and breeds confidence among your patients and staff. Based on strong collective experience, our consultants and point experts will collaborate with you and your teams to select the combination of flows and solutions with the greatest likelihood of success in handling the uncertainty of the upcoming period and to infuse resilience and adaptability into your ‘new normal’.