The hospital was experiencing difficulty with reaching the NHS 18 week referral to treatment target and had identified delays in the scan reporting process as impacting on the Trusts ability to deliver the required performance target. Diagnostic radiology procedures are steps in these pathways that can take from 4 to 8 weeks for the patient to have their scan and for it to be reported. In addition, time was perceived to be wasted between the verified report being available and actioned. This event focussed on removing waste and reducing the time in diagnostic radiology steps and the step of reading the verified scan report.
SimLean Educate was used to illustrate flow, in this case the flow of patients is linked to the flow of reports i.e. the time the report spends waiting in large batches to be verified and actioned. Of particular interest was the impact of prioritising patients (which was found to be an adhoc process, often performed by secretaries placing files they perceived to be important at the top of the pile).
The impact of prioritising was explored in relation to the impact upon other patients.