Emory Transplant Center Quality Driven by Lean Methodology

 

Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, experts at the Emory Transplant Center continue to keep quality at the forefront of our daily operations. We use the Lean methodology technique to pursue quality improvement initiatives that ultimately benefit our patients. The Lean management principles, first developed by Toyota, helps us reduce wasteful actions that impede our ability to provide the best care possible.

Patient-Centered Designation Awarded Again to Emory Transplant Center

For the second time, Emory Transplant Center has been awarded the prestigious Patient-Centered Specialty Practice (PCSP) Level 3 designation by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). Emory Transplant Center is the only transplant center in the nation to have earned this designation.

The PCSP Level 3 designation is the highest level of recognition a specialty practice can receive and is only awarded to health care facilities that excel in the delivery of exceptional quality patient-centered care. As a PCSP Level 3-recognized health care facility, we focus on:

  • Integrating care to produce better outcomes
  • Improving quality of care
  • Reducing the cost of care
  • Improving the patient experience
  • Improving staff satisfaction
  • Better managing chronic medical conditions

How Lean Methodology Helps Us Achieve Our Goals

Instead of focusing on separate technologies, assets, and departments within the Emory Transplant Center, we use Lean methodology to optimize the flow of our services by improving staff commitment and eliminating waste throughout the entire patient care process. This process includes regular review of all activities to determine which actions may create opportunities for improvement.

Additionally, regular team-based problem-solving sessions focus on brainstorming improvements, fixing known problems, and implementing solutions to enhance our care quality. And while some solutions may not be achievable instantly, each member of our quality improvement team dedicates a great deal of time and effort to find ways to improve our patients’ care and experience.

This process has already helped us reduce patient’s lobby wait times from an average of 45 minutes to only 20 minutes. We look forward to continuing these sustainment efforts to best suit the needs of our patients, staff members, and providers.

Adapting Standard Laboratory Practices to Better Serve Patients

Recently, the Transplant Center team recognized that patients were frequently experiencing delays in getting their laboratory work completed in our clinic. Using Lean methodology, we standardized the chart preparation process to ensure the correct lab orders were entered into our electronic medical records (EMR) system the day before each patient’s appointment.

We also began using an EMR lab messaging tool so that certain staff members, including the lead nurse, lab supervisor, and program coordinator, could easily and efficiently communicate any last-minute additions to orders. We have made it our priority to ensure this solution is sustained over the long term by escalating any laboratory-related issues to the team daily.

Our Work Continues…

Emory Transplant Center continues on its Lean journey to make improvements across all its solid organ transplant programs. The primary goal is to serve both patients and referring providers effectively and efficiently, delivering the highest quality of care. The best health care outcomes result from shared, coordinated, and streamlined processes.

“What has been taking shape is amazing,” says Emory Transplant Center Senior Administrator Anjali Basu. “We are building a culture of continuous improvement; this is an initiative aimed at nothing less than exposing cracks in our system and fixing them.”

For more information about the Emory Transplant Center or to refer a patient, call 855-366-7989 or visit emoryhealthcare.org/txrefer.

Emory Transplant Center is committed to the continued health and safety of all patients. During this time, we are taking all necessary precautions to screen for coronavirus (COVID-19) and to prevent its potential spread. We continue to monitor the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and are working with experts throughout Emory Healthcare to keep your patients safe. For the most up-to-date information for our referring partners, click here.