Patient Flow Engineering

The constraints of today’s healthcare landscape require organizations and facilities of all sizes to continually balance quality of care with operational efficiency. Economic pressures are driving costs up and reimbursements down, while healthcare providers continue to strive to achieve high patient satisfaction and increased quality of care within the intensely competitive landscape.

At St. Onge, we apply an unparalleled blend of industrial engineering and systems expertise with front line clinical healthcare experience to deliver solutions that balance care, cost and quality. In turn, it’s our goal to apply this experience and focus to deliver bottom line results and direct benefits to increase patient satisfaction.

We get to the heart of care challenges and opportunities through our innovative approach to patient flow engineering, which is rooted in a mindset that leverages data and analytics. Simply put, we don’t just treat the symptoms, we dig deeper to treat the underlying causes, taking a patient-centric approach to identify opportunities across department lines and throughout the total patient experience.

We consider both the clinical and non-clinical aspects of care to get a total health system viewpoint that incorporates the needs of today and the goals for the future. Our comprehensive solutions include:

With the ever-evolving regulations and pressures inside today’s healthcare model, it’s critical for health systems of all sizes to maximize resources and generate positive patient experiences. It’s also important to have a partner who understands the particular demands of the industry AND can apply the necessary blend of clinical and quantitative understanding to identify opportunities that generate tangible return on investment results. St. Onge is that partner.

See how we’ve made an impact on our healthcare partners and get in touch with our specialized team to start a conversation about how patient flow engineering can drive gains for your organization.

Patient Flow Engineering Solutions

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Operational Excellence

doctor-and-nurse-at-reception-desk-with-patient

Consolidation and heightening economic pressures require healthcare systems of all sizes to balance the needs of today with the long-term goals critical for driving operational efficiency and high levels of patient care. An integrated delivery evaluation that pushes past departmental silos to uncover root challenges and opportunities at a system level can drive significant improvements across both qualitative and quantitative goal targets.

At St. Onge, we blend a unique patient-centric approach informed by clinical expertise with a systems and engineering view, focusing on leveraging data and analytics to drive measurable improvements. We focus on evaluating processes across department lines leading to system-wide advancements such as:

  • Growth of critical service lines
  • “Right sizing” or expansion to maximize volume while minimizing spend
  • Balancing demand and capacity across scheduling, supply allocation, etc.
  • Predicting and managing patient flow from admission through discharge
  • Increased throughput across critical areas of care
  • Overall reduction in length of stay (LOS)
  • Optimized surgical schedules and perioperative capacity
  • Improved utilization of staff, equipment, rooms, etc.
  • Increased staff retention and improved staff satisfaction
  • Improved patient satisfaction and high-quality patient outcomes

At the heart of our ability to deliver impactful solutions are our innovative data analysis and simulation tools. In addition to the use of traditional data sets, we also leverage real-time location systems (RTLS) data to get a true picture of the current state and analyze scenarios to drive improvements. We stay at the leading edge of the industry, continuously evaluating the changing regulations, technology and demands.

When you address the right problem, you achieve you the best results (but only if you have the right partner on your side). St. Onge is that partner. Reach out to our healthcare team to start a conversation around how operational excellence planning with St. Onge can take your organization to  the next level.

Want to learn more about our operational excellence consulting capabilities?

Hospital-Wide Assessments

doctor holding ipad and stethoscope

Hospitals are complex, dynamic, interdependent systems that can change from minute to minute. They are an interconnected network of quantitative and qualitative components that are constantly in flux. Yet, many hospital leaders still tend to approach performance improvement at a departmental or process level, rather than considering the total picture. While this granular approach may yield some level of value in the short term, that value often pales in comparison to the benefits of improvements that impact the system.

At St. Onge, we focus on a system-wide view, helping our hospital and health system partners execute comprehensive evaluations informed by an unmatched blend of clinical expertise and practical systems with engineering analysis. We look for the largest buckets of opportunity that can generate the most impact and guide partners from evaluation and analysis through change management, transformation and return on investment measurement. We understand the necessity to drive efficiencies to reduce critical metrics such as length of stay (LOS), and look across the entire system to consider:

  • Emergency services
  • Perioperative volume and scheduling
  • Cardiovascular and interventional radiology
  • Ancillary and support services
  • Bed management
  • Resource utilization
  • Capacity and flow dependencies
  • Patient and staff flows
  • Technology analysis
  • Supply chain evaluation

By blending tools such as simulation leveraging real-time location systems (RTLS) data and deep data analytics with a vision for optimized system performance, we work with healthcare partners to deliver custom solutions to some of healthcare’s most complex and persistent challenges. Our focus is on delivering results you can measure, whether tangible bottom line benefits or qualitative improvements in staff and patient experience scores.

Ready to talk transformation? Connect with the St. Onge healthcare team. We look forward to learning about the needs of your organization.

Want to learn more about our hospital-wide assessment capabilities?

Staff Allocation & Task Analysis

doctor comforting patient.

Acquiring and retaining nursing and care team members in today’s highly competitive healthcare market can be a time-consuming and expensive process. Optimizing the flow and allocation of care staff inside your organization can have profoundly positive effects in both staff satisfaction and retention and across patient care.

With the right analytics and a strategic approach, healthcare organizations can proactively plan, alter and manage staff workloads to create a more balanced and less chaotic work environment. When executed properly, this planning can also expand options to reassign the tasks that staff are required to do. Combined, these two strategies can add significant capacity to available clinical resources while optimizing total resource cost, opening opportunities for clinical staff to spend more time with patients while improving throughput and minimizing length of stay.

At St. Onge, we apply an unmatched blend of clinical experience with an applied engineering approach, considering real-time data and analyzing true-to-life care scenarios to deliver the best results. Our total approach to staff allocation and task analysis includes:

  • Analysis of commonly available, but typically unused data to provide insights on current workload.
  • Evaluation and deployment of proven operational models in key areas proactively focused on managing inpatient workload.
  • Analysis of the care tasks and major task groups (such as “discharge processing”) to determine viable task and resource allocation options.
  • “What-if” scenario evaluations leveraging real-life data, analysis and simulation using real-life location systems (RTLS) data to explore structure questions such as “what if a pharm tech distributed meds?”
  • Simulation of nursing care models to evaluate options, validity and impact.
  • Deployment and sustainability of new operational models, communication streams and workload management approaches.

When tasks are properly aligned with staff resources, the positive benefits compound. As the workload is proactively managed and tasks are better matched to proper resources, critical clinical staff can work more at the top of their licensure, adding to staff satisfaction while ensuring the highest quality of care and patient satisfaction.

Actionable, sustainable solutions that work, customized to your specific organization needs. That’s what you can count on when you partner with St. Onge.

Looking to keep your top care talent happy and maximize their time? We can help. Reach out to speak with the healthcare team to start a conversation.

Want to learn more about our staff allocation consulting capabilities?

Patient Experience & Flow

receptionist talking with older patient

Renovations, layout changes, shifts in how or where procedures are conducted, additions and removal of equipment – just a few of the many changes constantly under review at healthcare organizations that can have a profound impact on the patient experience – a critical factor in both patient satisfaction and operational efficiency. Whether sparked by an impending change or a larger need to bolster satisfaction or operational efficiency, strategic patient experience and flow evaluation can have profound and lasting impacts.

The St. Onge approach to this critical healthcare tenant is unlike any other. We uniquely consider the qualitative and quantitative aspects of care so informed decisions can be made based on the total potential impact.

From considerations around wait times, travel distances, flow-through paths, bed placements and staff interactions, we take a patient-centric view factoring in the experiential but overlaid with an applied analytical lens to consider the data related to the experience. We deliver insights to drive informed decisions that balance the most impactful benefits for the patient and the organization.  We consider a 360-degree view that factors in the interdependencies across departments, pushing past organizational silos to look at the big picture. Using predictive analytics and simulation modeling with real-time location systems (RTLS) data, we examine scenarios to uncover true-to-life implications of changes under consideration.

By applying an engineering approach that leverages data to drive informed decisions, St. Onge delivers a higher level of value to partners, providing robust data and insights to measure cost, quality and outcome variables. Simply put, a higher quality of information drives more informed and impactful decisions.

If you’re looking at the potential patient impact related to an upcoming change or seeking solutions to optimize the current experience to improve overall performance, reach out, we can help you get to the solutions that will offer the most impact to you and your patients.

Want to learn more about our patient experience and flow capabilities?

Staff Flow & Utilization

hospital hallway doctors and nurses

The movement and utilization of care team members can have significant impact on operational efficiency, patient and staff satisfaction. Getting the right staff to the right places at the right times requires a strategic look at their workflow, travel paths and overall utilization.

Often conducted alongside staff allocation and task analysis, staff flow and utilization evaluation ensures processes and spaces are designed to optimize the flow of team members, so they can work to the top of their licensure based on their skills and assigned responsibilities.

Healthcare partners look to St. Onge as the leader in applying true-to-life data overlaid with quality of care insights to map informed recommendations that consider the total picture. We look across departments and consider how technology, supply availability, volume peaks, equipment utilization, layout, patient interactions and travel distances impact how staff moves throughout their day. Simulation modeling and data analysis guide an informed evaluation, factoring in when staff members might be flexed based on volume and how to create optimized workflows that get the resources where they need to be, when they need to there.

Increased staff satisfaction, lower costs, improved operating efficiency and a resulting improved quality of care – strategic decisions surrounding staff flow and utilization can drive gain across all of those areas. If improvements are on your radar, get in touch with our healthcare team to start a conversation.

Want to learn more about our staff flow and utilization capabilities?

Capacity / Demand Analysis

hospital hallway stretcher

Space, time and equipment.  All key resources inside a healthcare organization that are critical to achieving operational efficiency. As demand and patient numbers ebb and flow, it is critical for organizations to evaluate how they are leveraging capacity against shifting demand models, answering key questions such as: 

Time
Are we utilizing all of the hours in the day effectively?
Are we offering the right hours based on patient demand?

Equipment
Do we have enough equipment?
Is it the right mix of equipment?
Is it being scheduled to maximize capacity during the full duration of our operating hours?

Space
Do we have enough rooms?
Are they being used for the right functions?

At St. Onge, we help our partners answer these questions (and many more) providing strategic support to analyze capacity versus demand across critical healthcare resources. By helping organizations achieve a true understanding of where they are, we can offer support in mapping out opportunities to drive improvements using existing resources. Plus, informed decisions can be made when it comes to capital investments in expansion, new equipment, changes in operating hours, etc.

We look across departments to consider the whole picture and rely on a uniquely data-driven approach to deliver recommendations that are focused on driving measurable results. Because we consider the total view across both the qualitative patient experience and operational metrics, we are able to guide clients to decisions that will generate the highest level of impact. 

If you’re seeking areas of opportunity to dial in efficiency within your organization, reach out to the healthcare experts at St. Onge to start a conversation.

Want to learn more about our capacity/demand analysis capabilities?

OR Block Scheduling

modern operating room

When it comes to effective OR management, efficiency is key and OR block scheduling is a path many organizations are choosing to maximize operating room time. While OR block scheduling can generate efficiencies, it is critical to ensure it is executed effectively to get the most out of the high cost of OR time. At St. Onge, we work with healthcare organizations and systems of all sizes to maximize OR potential.

What is block scheduling? Block scheduling is the process of allocating operating room resources to a surgeon or group of surgeons for a specified day and time. The resources that are reserved inside a block may vary, but typically include a designated room, equipment and staff allowing physicians and surgeons to plan against a guaranteed day and time when they know they will have resources on an ongoing basis.

Already employ block scheduling? At St. Onge, we evaluate performance and utilization against demand considering opportunities to get more out of the time available and get more cases through.

Not currently employing block scheduling? Our team will analyze how it would compare against current scheduling protocol and if/how it would accommodate the related demand within the organization.

For all projects, we take a uniquely data-driven approach, helping partners identify and leverage analytics currently at their fingertips to make informed decisions based on real-life information. By using data, we can utilize simulation models in a virtual environment and map out resulting impact to truly assess the impact of decisions.

If you’re looking for opportunities to increase OR scheduling efficiency, reach out. We look forward to helping your business boost efficiency.

Want to learn more about our OR block scheduling capabilities?

Healthcare Simulations

3d floorplan chart camera tracking person

In the interconnected healthcare world, where materials, processes, staff and patients flow through the organization, simulations can provide critical analysis tools to view the current state and the impact of planned changes. Simulations offer an opportunity to analyze that data to review the current state and allows us to evaluate changes and scenarios, considering how decisions related to layout, process and flow will impact the physical environment and the operational landscape.

At St. Onge, our approach to healthcare operations optimization and patient flow analysis is founded on blending clinical expertise with an applied engineering approach to leveraging data to guide informed decisions.  We know successful simulation models begin with a clear understanding of the goals and key performance indicators bring evaluated. We work closely with clients to ensure that not only are simulations leveraging the right data, but that they’re using it for the right reasons and are aligned around a clear vision and purpose.

We establish key project goals and guide clients through measuring the variables to generate the most useful results. Once we confirm the approach, we get to work, collecting and analyzing the right data to present insights and scenarios that fuel smart planning across operating room analysis, perioperative service review, emergency department evaluation, patient transport, radiology, material movement and more.

Our capabilities include both 2D and 3D outputs and our team of healthcare simulation experts utilize a variety of simulation software packages and leading-edge technology tools to collect, present and analyze the data.  We use real-time location systems (RTLS) data to get a true picture of the current state and analyze scenarios to drive improvements.

If you’re ready to start leveraging real-life information to inform your most important patient care and operations decisions, we can help. Connect with the team to start a conversation on how to harness the power of your data.

Want to learn more about our healthcare simulation capabilities?

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