Problem: To ensure best patient experience, the hospital aims to limit unnecessary admissions and provide patients with treatment in the right settings. In 2018,the average visit time for Infliximab infusion was almost stable at five hours, which is considered an unnecessarily long time that negatively affects patient experience and utilization of hospital resources.
Measurement: The current process was studied and problems were identified using fishbone diagram. Patients were given questionnaires during their unit stay to get their input about the whole process and their preferences (voice of customer).
Analysis: Data were then analyzed using Microsoft Excel and Minitab software to measure process capability (CP), Average Arrival To Starting Infusion Time and average total visit time.
Implementation: Decreasing infusion time to one hour for all patients taking maintenance infusion with no prior infusion reaction. Eliminating unnecessarily pre-infusion blood works. Booking patients on daily basis. Assigning two physicians to the unit. The pharmacy prepares medications in advance whenever possible. Assigning clinical nurse coordinator to follow up with patients.
Results/Discussion: The average visit time dropped (from 281 to 179 minutes), which significantly improved patient experience (from 53% to 77%). This change was sustainable throughout 2021. This has also led to efficient use of beds for more patients, with an overall improvement in unit utilization by 23% with significant cost reduction-saving.