This case study documents McKay-Dee Hospital Center's search for a solution for low patient satisfaction scores concerning wait times for surgery patients entering McKay-Dee's Same Day Department. Unable to expand to an appropriate size for present patient flow, the operating room/recovery room committee reviewed data on patient wait times at a physician level to determine an alternate solution to expansion. Data were gathered and refined, definitions were interpreted, and various steps in the scheduling processes were delineated, clarifying several issues that affected patient wait times. By studying the data in a committee setting rather than focusing on the human aspect, detrimental patterns such as late schedule changes and “catch-all procedures” were identified and logical solutions were suggested. In this manner, preoperative wait time targets were appropriately set, surgeons and staff were counseled, and surgical scheduling became more accurate. The result was a dramatic rise in patient satisfaction scores concerning preoperative wait times.
© 1998 Foundation of the American College of Healthcare Executives