Optimizing Outpatient Service Access and Operations

Webinar on November 14th at 12:00-1:00 PM EDT. To view the recording, click here >

Healthcare services are increasingly moving to outpatient settings driven by improvements in technology, lower cost and patient friendliness of such settings. Focus on patient experience, as well as the safety, quality and efficiency of such services are necessary to achieve superior performance. Just as patient flow failures in a hospital can lead to increased mortality risk, such failures in outpatient settings can put an entire organization at risk.

The Joint Commission Resources’ recent book Optimizing Patient Flow: Advanced Strategies for Managing Variability to Enhance Access, Quality and Safety describes practically proven approaches that have been implemented to optimize outpatient services.

Institute for Healthcare Optimization (IHO) faculty Mac Knight, MD, MBA, will discuss his experience in leading and advising ambulatory services all over the U.S. IHO senior vice president, Sandeep Green Vaswani, MBA, will present IHO Variability Methodology® applications in outpatient clinics. Donald T. Erwin, MD, will share how he used these methods to turnaround his federally qualified health center in New Orleans to a thriving community resource.


Eugene Litvak, PhD is President and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Optimization, and adjunct professor in Operations Management at the Harvard School of Public Health. He has served on various national committees for the Institute of Medicine (now National Academies of Medicine) and the American Hospital Association. He currently serves on the Executive Leadership Council, Strategic Innovation Engine, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Dr. Litvak edited the above-mentioned book published by the Joint Commission Resources.

Ellis (Mac) Knight, MD, MBA is senior vice president and chief medical officer of Coker Group. With over 30 years in the healthcare arena, he has developed significant experience and knowledge in this industry. Prior to joining Coker, Dr. Knight served as the chief physician and clinical integration officer for Palmetto Health in Columbia, South Carolina, where he oversaw Palmetto Health’s employed physician network and helped to develop and manage their clinical integration program – The Palmetto Health Quality Collaborative. Prior to that, he was Palmetto Health Richland’s vice president for medical affairs.

Donald T. Erwin, MD is founder and CEO of the St. Thomas Community Health Center in New Orleans. The St. Thomas Community Health Center is a successor to the St. Thomas Health Services Clinic formerly located in the St. Thomas Housing Development. After Hurricane Katrina, the Clinic was closed due to lack of financial and personnel support. The Health Center was established to provide the same services in post-Katrina New Orleans. From the brink of closure, the St. Thomas Community Health Center has grown into one of New Orleans’ largest and most accessible safety net providers, with eight locations expected to serve nearly 30,000 patients this year.

Sandeep Green Vaswani, MBA is Senior Vice President with the Institute for Healthcare Optimization. Sandeep is responsible for management of hospital flow improvement initiatives. He has led patient flow redesign initiatives at a range of US and international healthcare delivery organizations including academic medical centers, community hospitals, primary care facilities, as well as multi-hospital programs such as the CMS-funded Partnership for Patients initiative in New Jersey, and the National Health Service program in Scotland.