IHO Variability Methodology® Services

The tools and methodologies offered by operations management have been successfully applied for military and industry needs over several decades. Businesses have used tools such as queuing models and simulation to design operations and material flow to minimize cost and maximize quality. These same tools have not been applied for similar effect in the healthcare setting. One reason is healthcare professionals’ lack of understanding of operations management, and similarly operations experts’ lack of understanding of healthcare’s unique characteristics. The Institute for Healthcare Optimization has been built on a multidisciplinary foundation that brings together the science of operations management, clinical knowledge, analytic skills and an understanding of organizational behavior.

  • Our strength in Operations Management has helped us stay true to the science by developing our innovative IHO Variability Methodology® teaching and patient flow redesign services, which make it possible to apply other standard OM tools such as queuing modeling
  • Clinical expertise helps us translate operations science principles into practical implementable solutions
  • Analytic skills allow us to take the emotion out of management decisions by synthesizing information of varying quality from fragmented IT systems
  • Experience with organizational behavior in the healthcare setting enables us to facilitate new patient flow designs and processes

Each of these elements is potent in itself, but it is the combination that drives substantive and lasting improvements in healthcare delivery.

Results from organizations that have worked with IHO »

Three-phase Patient Flow Redesign

IHO Variability Methodology® services are based on our unique three phase approach for patient flow redesign for hospitals and other healthcare delivery organizations:

Phase 1

  • Separate homogenous groups, i.e. elective vs. non-elective and inpatient vs. outpatient flows in order to,
  • Reduce waiting times for urgent / emergent cases, increase throughput in the operating room and cath lab, decrease overtime, and decrease delays for elective scheduled cases

Phase 2

  • Smooth the flow of electively scheduled cases in order to,
  • Decrease the competition between unscheduled (e.g. ED) and elective admissions, increase hospital-wide throughput, achieve consistent nurse-to-patient staffing, increase patient placement in appropriate units

Phase 3

  • Estimate resource (e.g. beds. ORs, MRIs, staff) needs for each type of flow to ensure right care at the right time and place for every patient

The IHO Variability Methodology® is endorsed by: The Institute of Medicine, American Hospital Association, American Nursing Association, Joint Commission Resources, The Government Accountability Office, American College of Emergency Physicians, The Leapfrog Group, American Organization of Nurse Executives, and The Academy of Medical Surgical Nurses.

For more information, please contact us »