Application of Agile and Simulation Approaches for the Maximal Benefits of Reduced Turnaround Time from the Point of Care Testing

Yusta W. Simwita, Berit I. Helgheim


This paper uses simulation to explore improvement opportunities in the orthopaedic care process. Secondly, this study used a combination of simulation and agile strategies to explore agile operational plans that can be adopted  to maximize the benefits of reduced turnaround time. Data used for this study was collected by observing the entire orthopaedic care process. A total of 635 observations were obtained, with 179 out of these observations undergoing the whole care process. The actual collected patient data were compared with the simulation output to validate the developed simulation. Different scenarios were developed to test operational plans for the maximal benefit of reduced turnaround time. Deployment of point-of-care platforms reduced turnaround time for sample tests. Flexibility was introduced as an agile operational plan to ensure the maximal benefit of the reduced turnaround time. The effect of flexibility on the orthopaedic care process was significant. The simulation results showed a significant decrease in patient waiting time by 86%. This study was limited to orthopaedic patients. Studies focusing on other clinical settings are encouraged. This study recommends using agile operations practices to maximize the benefit of reduced turnaround time in healthcare processes.

Keywords:  Point of care; Turnaround time; Agile and simulation

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