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National Patient Flow Improvement Programme

Authors: Pat Nash , Helene Horsnell, Irene O’Connor, Paul Burke, Veronica Devlin, Sinead Fitzpatrick, Grace Rothwell

Abstract In 2016 the HSE Clinical Strategy and Programmes Division and the Acute Hospital Division collaborated in co-sponsoring a proof of concept programme for Scientific Management Practices in Healthcare to tackle Patient Flow. It is a key work-stream of the Integrated Care Programme for Patient Flow and is closely aligned with the work of the Special Delivery Unit (SDU).To support planning and delivery of the programme, the HSE engaged[1] a technical partner, GE Healthcare Finnamore, with expertise and experience in application of operations management techniques such as lean, simulation and modelling, implementation of evidence based best practice and change management methodologies to improve patient flow.A key outcome is building capacity and capability within the HSE to enable national implementation. The 3 year programme combines hands on change management support, implementation of evidence based best practice in patient flow supported by state of the art data, simulation and analytical techniques and skills transfer to HSE staff at local and national levels to ensure sustainability. Techniques such as capacity and demand and workforce modelling are being applied to support changes in clinical models and processes to deliver improvements in patient flow in 2 demonstrator sites over an 18 month timeline, with subsequent national roll out over a further 18 month period. While the initial focus of this work is in the acute hospital systems in University Hospital Limerick and Galway University Hospitals, the importance of understanding whole system patient flow and interdependencies across acute, primary and community health and social care settings is acknowledged.Initial tests of change are underway in both proof of concept sites, covering such areas as ED flow, bed turnaround, improving flow in medical pathways, frail older persons services, bed management and emergency theatre and surgical assessment areas. Results are anticipated in the following 6-12 months.[1] through a competitive tender process


patient flow, change management, operations management techniques, skills transfer

How to Cite:

Nash P, Horsnell H, O’Connor I, Burke P, Devlin V, Fitzpatrick S, et al.. National Patient Flow Improvement Programme. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2017;17(5):A190.

DOI: on 17th October 2017