Sharp Hospitals – Highest Misery Index for ED Performance
Sharp Hospitals, in aggregate, perform the worst in San Diego of measured hospitals Emergency Department’s ability to deliver a doctor to a patient. On the misery index, which mimics the pain levels, sharp memorial is a 10 and sharp Grossmont is a seven. Only Kaiser Permanente is between them with an eight. These two Sharp Hospitals average 65 ½ minutes before an emergency room patient will see a doctor.
American hospitals, that I have reviewed, that are past winners of the Malcolm Baldridge Award average 20 minutes before an Emergency Department Doctor sees a patient.
A little secret of the medical industry is that their focus is not on patients but on doctors. To a certain extent this makes sense. The result is that if you have a full waiting room then theoretically the doctors will always be busy. If you are patient focused then you will have more business and the doctors will still be busy.
How patients interpret this is a disrespect for their time. Patients will understand that there are times when doctors get behind but on the other hand there are doctor’s offices where there is no waiting.
The Solution for Sharp Hospitals
Hospitals do not understand the Theory of Constraints.
Adopting Lean Six Sigma (LSS) is what has made the Malcolm Baldridge Award winners so successful. Focus on patients in the ED and elsewhere. Patients are the entity that supplies the hospitals with money and patience are they that publicly rate their hospital experience. If hospitals focus on patients then let LSS focus on process improvement. The Theory of Constraints says that when you have a constraint you either remove it or augment it.
LSS decreases process time by removing activities that do not benefit the patient. LSS decreases cost by removing those activities and finally LSS increases quality by removing actions, which may impact quality, from the process.