Unfortunately, hospital wait time woes are a common source of frustration for patients and their families. A recent article in Forbes Magazine by Sanjeev Agrawal, a health services specialist, draws an insightful comparison between healthcare in 2016 and air traffic control in the 1980’s.
The article’s premise is that while the service area (hospitals, airports & air space) is fixed without an expansion of infrastructure, the demand for services is increasing concurrently with pressure for lower costs. A conundrum ultimately resolved in the case of airports & air space with technology solutions that optimize the flow of air traffic to allow for an increased flow of passengers at lower costs. Mr. Agrawal argues the same transformation can, and should, take place in healthcare to reduce patient wait time.
Below is an excerpt from the article:
“The challenge healthcare providers face: increasing patient access while lowering costs and increasing quality of care has a direct parallel – airports like JFK have had had the same challenge in the last 30 years when the volume of aircraft, traffic and flights has increased 10 times while using the same air space, number of runways and gates. Process transformation through advanced data analytics delivered using scalable technology platforms has been the key.”
For the entire article, please click on the link: https://www.forbes.com/sites/sanjeevagrawal/2016/04/02/the-future-of-hospital-operations-resembles-air-traffic-control/#55b67d7788e6
Optimium Health could not agree more with the Forbes article’s assessment of the need for action to solve wait time and efficiency issues in healthcare. The analogy to advances in air traffic control is a reasonable one from which lessons can be learned. Everyday more hospitals are realizing that EHR implementations are not the Holy Grail to fix systemic clinical workflow inefficiencies that costs time and money and put patient safety and satisfaction at risk with long delays and preventable oversights.
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