Clinical process redesign: a health care improvement method that involves the redesign of the processes and services underpinning clinical care to make them safer and more efficient for patients and more satisfying for staff.
Clinical silos: clinical specialties, subspecialties or geographical locations within which care is provided without regard to other components of the overall patient journey through a medical facility.
Continuous improvement: continuous and incremental improvements to clinical processes achieved by removing unnecessary activities and variations, so that each state is the starting point for the next step on the journey towards the ideal state.
Patient journey: the primary perspective in clinical process redesign; all the sequential steps in providing a patient’s clinical care; it includes the movement of a patient (from emergency department to ward or x-ray department) and the movement of a sample or document relating to the patient (eg, blood specimen, medical record, etc).
Plan-do-study-act cycle: a quality improvement method consisting of the four continuous steps, plan, do, study and act, aiming to test a change by planning it, trying it, observing the results, and acting on what is discovered (also known as the Deming cycle or Plan-do-check-act cycle).
“Pull” bed management: ward staff following a structured approach to identify patients in the emergency department who best fit their ward profile and then “pulling” those patients from the emergency department to their ward, rather than having to take any patient just because the ward has a bed available.
Six sigma: a systematic method for improving the operational performance of an organisation by eliminating variability and waste (“sigma” stands for standard deviation from the mean in a normal distribution).
Standard work: the standard way of undertaking a sequence of care after the best, most efficient and most effective way of undertaking a care process in the patient journey has been established and agreed.
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