Flip No. 76

Mining Wait Time Data to Improve Clinic Workflow

Careful analysis can help clinics make the most of down time.

By Mike Begley, Michelle Hu, Elizabeth Kulkarni, Greg Landistratis, Chinwe Onyekere, Kumar Senthil

Developed at Flip the Clinic Lab: Philadelphia

Analyzing wait time could help clinics better understand patient downtime and the office’s inefficiencies. By mapping the process that patients go through from the moment they walk through the clinic door to the time that they pay for their visit and leave, clinics could reveal how staff can be used more efficiently, and how they could develop new programs to make use of that time. For example, a wait time audit could redirect clinic staff so that they take patient vitals and notes on electronic health records as patients wait, instead of holding off on that data-gathering until the patient is in the exam room. Or it could uncover processes even more revelatory, like one that shifts entire sections of the visit, from back end EMR data logging to a front-end, patient-facing health data discussion. But it only happens when a clinic does a deep dive into the daily appointment data. When and where all clinic staff is occupied, and what other ways could be designed to make better use of their time, so both the clinicians and patients benefit.