Ah, summer and the great outdoors! Ever go hiking and get a pebble in your shoe? It forces you to stop your journey and find the pain causing pebble immediately. Why does such a small object create so much discomfort? So it is in life; it's the little things that seem to annoy us most. Perhaps because we feel it is unnecessary? Yes, I sign on for sore muscles after a hike, but I'm prepared to take on that discomfort for the gain of that beautiful view at the top of the mountain. I never, however, sign on nor am I prepared for that troublesome pebble in my shoe. I believe waiting is like that pebble for a patient. It is annoying to wait to be seen and every minute they wait they feel less respected. Or maybe they are waiting on test results that never get shared. Or needing to see a doctor and not being able to be seen within a reasonable time. Healthcare organizations want to address this but often do not know how.
At Infinitum, we ask what is ideal for the patient and we often hear:
Safe – avoiding injuries to patients from care that is intended to help them.
Effective – avoiding overuse and misuse of care.
Patient-Centered – providing care that is unique to a patient's needs.
Timely – reducing wait times and harmful delays for patients and providers.
Efficient – avoiding waste of equipment, supplies, ideas and energy.
Equitable – providing care that does not vary across intrinsic personal characteristics.
The above list is basically saying that the goal of care is to give patients what they need and when they need it. We have an acronym that we use called IDEALS:
Immediate response to problems or change
Demand planned for
Exactly what the patient needs
Adjust to each individual patient
Lean; no waste
Safe for patients, staff, and clinicians
If you'd like to talk about how to address the pebbles in your patient pathway, Infinitum can show you how to meet the ideals you are reaching for.