• Improving Performance of Open Access Clinics

      Xia, Tian; Faculty of Business Programs (Brock University, 2014-08-21)
      Open Access Scheduling has shown great promise in allowing health care practices to provide same-day access, and to match patients with their regular physicians. However, similarly to traditional clinics where appointments are pre-booked, open access clinics are also frustrated with long waits, long idle time and long overtime due to uncertainties such as patient no-shows, variable service time and variable daily demand. These aspects have not been studied previously in an open access setting. This study investigates different management options to improve clinical performance in terms of patient waiting time, doctor idle time and clinic overtime. Other factors studied with a simulation model include client load and placement of pre-booked slots. Results show that a proper panel size is critical to obtain good performance for open access clinics, and that good choices for management options depend on the client load.
    • Process Improvement in Phlebotomy

      Huang, Yunqu (Coey); Faculty of Business Programs (Brock University, 2014-09-17)
      This study has two main objectives. First, the phlebotomy process at the St. Catharines Site of the Niagara Health System is investigated, which starts when an order for a blood test is placed, and ends when the specimen arrives at the lab. The performance measurement is the flow time of the process, which reflects concerns and interests of both the hospital and the patients. Three popular operational methodologies are applied to reduce the flow time and improve the process: DMAIC from Six Sigma, lean principles and simulation modeling. Potential suggestions are provided for the St. Catharines Site, which could result in an average of seven minutes reduction in the flow time. The second objective addresses the fact that these three methodologies have not been combined before in a process improvement effort. A structured framework combining them is developed to benefit future study of phlebotomy and other hospital processes.