Abstract of Dissertation

Agency : Operational Efficiency, OPD, Six Sigma, Quality of Services, Patient Satisfaction

Recommendations : This report presents the results of a project designed to improve the quality of services provided in an outpatient department of the Burjeel Hospital for Advanced Surgery in Dubai. The project was conducted on the basis of the Lean six sigma methodologies and aimed at reducing waiting times in outpatient department. Duration of the project was 19th February 2014 to 19th May 2014. Patient satisfaction is one of the important goals of any health system, but it is difficult to measure the satisfaction and gauge responsiveness of health systems as both the clinical and the non-clinical outcomes of care influence customer satisfaction. In the recent past, studies on patient satisfaction gained popularity and usefulness as they provided a chance to health care providers and managers to improve services in the health sector. Patients' feedback is necessary to identify problems that need to be resolved to improve health services. Even if providers do not use this information systematically to improve care delivery and services, this type of feedback triggers a real interest that can lead to a change in provider culture and their perception of patients. The present project is based on a comprehensive study conducted to increase the operational efficiency of the Outpatient Department by reducing the waiting time for patients. The main objective of this project is to list down the reasons why the waiting time in the OPD of the health facility is so large and to suggest possible measures to reduce the same. Significant reduction in waiting time was achieved in the outpatient services of the hospital using the Lean six sigma approach. The average waiting time was reduced from 60 minutes to 30 minutes. Certain gaps discovered in the process which contributed to an increased waiting time, included a common registration system, nursing station and billing counter, the absence of replacement staff during prayer/ lunch time, running out of printing paper and other stationery during peak working hours, etc. As an off-shoot of the study, a new nursing station was installed, restructuring of consultation rooms was done, ushers were appointed to guide patients, a front office supervisor was appointed to handle the waiting patients in the OPD and to take care of any situation from going out of hand. All these measures greatly contributed to the decrease in waiting time at the OPD and resulted in an all-round patient satisfaction.