Time Reduction of New Patient Consultation at the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences of a Philippine Tertiary Hospital
Objective. To decrease the total time spent of new patients on a General Clinic consult at the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences of a Philippine Tertiary Hospital.
Methods. A time quality management team was formed. The description of the process of a General Clinic new patient consult was elucidated and was consolidated in a data collection form. Convenience sampling of the population was done. The collection and analysis of the data were done with institution of interventions to address the factors causing the prolonged consultation visit; then, pre-intervention analysis, post-intervention analysis and comparison were done.
Results. Thirty-five new patients were tracked prior to and after intervention. Among the identified causes for prolonged new patient consult were delay in temporary chart, front of chart and blue card issuance, insufficient examination tools and resident dedicated to the General Clinic, unnecessary examination and patient not being around when called. Most causes were addressed. A mean decrease of 68±112 minutes or approximately 18% in total time stay was noted.
Conclusion. This study showed that the total consultation time of a new patient in General Clinic decreased. This was achieved with the help of most of the personnel involved in the system after identifying factors causing the prolonged consultation visit and instituting interventions to address these identified factors. The improvement in health service delivery was taken as a step by step process. A preliminary step was demonstrated in this paper for future interventions for better service delivery.