(Jonathan Adamson, Ashley Noble, Edward Tarnawa, 2002)
In July of 2001, the Asthma Care division of Baylor Medical moved its operations into a larger, more accommodating facility, with the intention of increasing patient flow. Since then, the average number of patients seen has not significantly increased as expected. In order to learn why this number has not risen, we implemented a Time Study in which we tracked the tasks of all the employees at the Asthma Center. Using Videx Wands, we were able to collect data giving us the amount of time each employee spent on each type of task, as well as information regarding patient length of stay. The data was collected during a two-week period, from March 20-April 5. Once the collection period was over, our team separated the employees into four groups: Registration Clerks, Respiratory Care Specialists, Technician, and Physicians. We analyzed the data for each group, and attempted to find ways to increase the amount of time available to spend with patients. Our findings suggest that there are multiple ways to increase patient flow. First, the Care Center should implement EMR (Electronic Medical Record), a computerized record keeping software, that would decrease support time and increase patient time. This technique would require new laptops in all eight exam rooms, but once installed would provide a much more efficient allocation of employee time. Also, there are new document management techniques, such as one provided by Xerox, which feature a fax, scanner, printer, and copier, all in one machine. Since all employees spend a lot of time doing documentation, this new technology would be worth the cost of purchase, while creating more patient time. We also came up with suggestions for sharing task duties between RCS and the Technician, as well as for decreasing Desk Time for all employees.