Emory Transplant Center Quality Driven by Lean Methodology

Date: Nov 18, 2020
Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, experts at the Emory Transplant Center continue to keep quality at the forefront of our daily operations. We use a technique known as Lean methodology to pursue quality improvement initiatives that ultimately benefit our patients. This philosophy, first developed by Toyota, helps us reduce wasteful actions that impede our ability to provide the best care possible.

NCQA PCSP Level 3 Recognition Awarded Again to Emory Transplant Center

For the second time, Emory Transplant Center has been awarded the prestigious Patient Centered Specialty Practice (PCSP) Level 3 designation by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). Emory Transplant Center is the only transplant center in the nation to have earned this designation.

The PCSP Level 3 designation is the highest level of recognition a specialty practice can receive and is only awarded to health care facilities that excel in the delivery of exceptional quality patient-centered care. As a PCSP Level 3-recognized health care facility, we focus on:

  • Integrating care to produce better outcomes,
  • Improving quality of care,
  • Reducing the cost of care,
  • Improving the patient experience,
  • Improving staff satisfaction, and
  • Better managing chronic medical conditions.

How Lean Methodology Helps Us Achieve Our Goals

Instead of focusing on separate technologies, assets, and departments within the Emory Transplant Center, we use Lean methodology to optimize the flow of our services by improving staff commitment and eliminating waste throughout the entire patient care process. This process includes regular review of all activities to determine which actions may create opportunities for improvement.

Additionally, regular team-based problem-solving sessions focus on brainstorming improvements, fixing known problems, and implementing solutions to enhance our care quality. And while some solutions may not be achievable instantly, each member of our quality improvement team dedicates a great deal of time and effort to find ways to improve our patients’ care and experience.

This process has already helped us reduce patient’s lobby wait times from an average of 45 minutes to only 20 minutes. We look forward to continuing these sustainment efforts to best suit the needs of our patients, staff members, and providers.

Adapting Standard Laboratory Practices to Better Serve Patients

Recently, the Transplant Center team recognized that patients were frequently experiencing delays in getting their laboratory work completed in our clinic. Using Lean methodology, we standardized the chart preparation process to ensure the correct lab orders were entered into our electronic medical records (EMR) system the day before each patient’s appointment.

We also began using an EMR lab messaging tool so that certain staff members, including the lead nurse, lab supervisor, and program coordinator, could easily and efficiently communicate any last-minute additions to orders. We have made it our priority to ensure this solution is sustained over the long term by escalating any laboratory-related issues to the team daily.

About Emory Transplant Center

Emory Transplant Center is a leader in clinical excellence and in pioneering new transplant therapies. We offer cutting-edge technology and superior outcomes in heart transplant surgerykidney transplant surgeryliver transplant surgerylung transplant surgery, and pancreas transplant surgery.

Our patients come from all over the nation for our high level of expertise and proven patient outcomes. We are proud to be ranked among the top 15 transplant programs in the nation and have performed more than 10,000 transplants to date.

To learn more about the Emory Transplant Center, visit emoryhealthcare.org/transplant.

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