Day surgery waiting times at South Tyneside District Hospital in the North East of England have been slashed from nine months to three weeks as a result of a business improvement technique developed by the University of Sunderland.
Key stakeholders at South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust were involved in the redesign of the Day Surgery Direct system after Maureen Tann, head of the Trust’s performance management, attended a University of Sunderland Process Improvement for Strategic Objectives (PISO) course.
PISO uses data flow diagrams to allow managers to see how their strategic objectives can be achieved. The process can be taught to anyone with a basic understanding of business in only a few hours and provides a means of solving organisational problems that can make working life so frustrating.
The results for the hospital were outstanding and a new Day Surgery Direct service was successfully trialled on patients with groin hernias. As well as dramatically reducing waiting times, quality improvements have also been made. For instance, a sick note is provided at discharge to cover the whole period that the patient will need off work preventing an unnecessary GP appointment.
The Trust has recently received recognition for the progress made through the project with a Huntleigh Healthcare Award for innovation in clinical services.
Ms Tann said: “The approach used in PISO is potentially transferable to other elective procedures and will assist the Trust in achieving its aim of becoming a ‘no waiting’ Trust. We are currently reviewing our pre-operative assessment service using PISO.”
This unique problem-solving strategy was devised by University of Sunderland academic Professor David Deeks.
Hundreds of organisations across the UK - from multinational corporations and one-man businesses through to NHS trusts and fire brigades - have saved millions of pounds, as well as man hours, by using PISO.