Have you ever wondered whether your cardiac cath lab was running as efficiently as possible? Would you be able to gauge its efficiency? And most importantly, are these considerations even important?
Well, in this ever-changing healthcare environment, it is of the utmost importance to be able to deliver services in a cost-effective manner while maintaining high-quality standards. Hospitals are shifting away from the fee-for-service models and moving towards quality-based models. Because of this, the controlling of costs is paramount…Those that can control costs while improving operational efficiencies will undoubtedly reap the greatest benefits. Therefore, it’s vital to understand how efficiently your lab is operating.
There are many areas that can impact the cardiac cath lab’s efficiency that need to be considered. For example, it’s important to understand the cath lab’s relation to the hybrid operating room, physician’s clinic, inpatient units, as well as non-invasive lab areas. Other factors impacting the cath lab include the continued growth in patient complexity and the proportion of new catheter-based procedures. All these factors can impact the overall operations of the cath lab and need to be accounted for.
At Corazon, we have provided many cath labs with a detailed analysis to help identify areas working well and those that need improvement. Below are just a few areas that are part of this evaluation.
Corazon’s Cath Lab Evaluation
(1) Capacity / Utilization
· First case of the day starts times
· Room utilization
· Prep and holding bay capacity
(2) Staff Requirements / Workflow
· Performance dashboards
· CCL leadership / Communication
· Skill mix
· Case staffing mix
· Staffing / Turnover / Vacancies
· Employee satisfaction results
(3) Data Reporting Quality
· Data quality findings
· Post follow-up calls
· CCL educator findings
(4) Patient Flow
· Pre-procedure prep
· CCL patient scheduling
· Patient flow
· Supply management
· Physician scheduling
Again, the cardiac cath lab is an extremely complex, fast-paced, procedural environment and because of this, is naturally prone to operational inefficiencies. There are multiple systematic improvements, that if identified and implemented, can allow a cath lab to gain additional hours per day, increasing throughput while improving staff and patient satisfaction.
Staff satisfaction should be assessed prior to and after any changes are implemented to assess employee engagement. With any change, staff must take accountability for transitioning from a culture of compliance to one of continuous improvement, which will take patience and time. Administrative and clinical support from the physician leadership is also key and vital to the success of a fully efficient cath lab.