March 31, 2010

Technology to improve service - Cleveland Clinic Edition


Cleveland Clinic has been well known for some time as progressive in terms of customer experience, something that sets them apart from many health care providers. Recently I ran into this video clip (you may have to watch a short advisement before you get to the actual report):


I particularly like the pitch into the segment where the reported says that a visit to the hospital can be "an intimidating place when you're sick and you're scared." At first blush, it is not clear why a patient tracking system could put someone at ease during a hospital stay. However, I see 2 things that the GPS system can do to improve service delivery:

  1. It tracks how long a customer has been waiting in specific rooms.

    With this data, the hospital can improve scheduling and staffing in order to reduce the wait time. Not all wait times are created equal , and often the most annoying are those waiting around in a cold, sterile room in a hospital gown waiting for the doctor to arrive. This system will give the administrators a better idea of what the true capacity is under different levels of staffing.

  2. It indicates which rooms could be filled or need attention.

    In many businesses, the constraint is often the physical space need to perform the service. For example, restaurants are interested in table turns per night, and hotels are interested in occupancy percentage. With this new data, the hospital will be able to track occupancy to a degree never before realized. If the process constraint becomes the examination rooms, they can put efforts into turning rooms more quickly in order to see more patients.


These two points should lead to a reduced wait time for patients. Still, I'm unsure how that can reduce my anxiety. Perhaps there could also be some psychological benefit of knowing that the hospital is tracking where I am and I won't be forgotten about.


Can you see any other benefits to the GPS tracking system?


This is probably a large investment to have this "airport control tower"; does the value justify the cost? I wonder how they track an improvement in patient satisfaction or patient thru put to justify its costs.




No comments:

Post a Comment