Attempts to achieve substantial cost reduction without optimally managing patient flow variability are doomed to fail

Contrary to popular belief healthcare cost can be decreased while simultaneously improving the quality of care. Many efforts are currently underway attempting to achieve these goals: benchmarking and employing best practices from other healthcare organizations, improving care coordination, bundled payments, accountable care organizations, increased adoption of healthcare IT, and others. While each of these initiatives is beneficial in its own right, together these efforts are still insufficient for substantial and sustainable healthcare cost reduction. This goal can only be achieved by adopting and implementing healthcare adapted scientific operations management methods, first and foremost - managing patient flow.

Patient flow variability management has the potential to decrease US healthcare cost by 4-5% by one estimate, or $35-112 Billion per year by another.

  • Engineering Science and Episode based Hospital Payment
    Using flow variability management and operations management tools is imperative for fair hospital reimbursement and cost reduction. Health Affairs Blog Learn more »
  • Institute of Medicine Workshop Presentation and Publication
    Managing patient flow variability: A necessary foundation for improving quality and reducing cost. Presentation here, Book Publication here.
  • Delayed Operating Room Availability Impacts Total Hospital Costs
    This provides another proof of the necessity to perform Phase I of IHO Variability Methodology® as there is no other way to control waiting times in a busy Operating Room. Learn more »

In an era of healthcare reform, hospitals in particular, are financially vulnerable as a result of payment decreases even as more patients enter the healthcare system.

  • More Patients, Less Payment
    Increasing Hospital Efficiency in the Aftermath of Healthcare Reform. Health Affairs, January 2011 Learn more »
  • Hospital Operations and Healthcare Reform
    Mismanaged Hospital Operations: A Neglected Threat to Reform. Health Affairs Blog, February 22, 2011 Learn more »