Capacity, Process Flow and Bottlenecks - Quinte Mri

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Quinte MRI, Inc. is a small international provider specializing in a variety of medical technologies including MRI. Quinte MRI’s founder, Dr. Syed Haider believes that the residents of smaller communities deserve the same level of health services as the residents of the larger urban centers. Quinte MRI is experiencing difficulty in meeting the expectations of 2 scans per hour. As a result, productivity is declining and they losing the referral of many of their colleagues. The process is creating a lot of variability and uncertainties that Quinte MRI are dealing with. Solving the issue of the “bottleneck” will make the operation more effective and manageable.

By assuming the role of David Wright and Kevin Saskiw, I will recommend a course of action that should be followed by the new Quinte MRI clinic that will reduce a long waiting list for its imaging services.

Issue Identification

Haider’s client, Benton- Cooper Medical Center (BCMC) has expressed concern over the fact that the MRI clinic was not meeting promises made by Haider and GE to scan patients at a rate of 2 per hour. The hospital’s administrators continue to complain about the MR machine’s low productivity, the strain resulting from the MR technologist’s heavy overtime schedule, and the loss of patient referrals from doctors within the hospital and in the surrounding area. Doctors expect to receive the transcription within 2 days of their request. The backlog has now exceeded 14 days, resulting in providing a poor quality of service to the patients. This backlog has put a strain on the relationship between BCMC and Quinte MRI and has lost referrals to the competing MRI clinics in attempt to obtain a more efficient timeframe for servicing patients. .

The MRI clinic is experiencing some problems in the scheduling department. Currently the MRI machine is scheduled for one scan per hour and they are having difficulty reaching that output. It was assumed that the clinic would achieve 2 scans per hour. Patients are being scheduled at incorrect times and are not being properly screened . There are people scheduled who have medical conditions that should be rejected and many patients are experiencing difficulty in getting the proper examination.

Poor communication throughout the MRI clinic and its employees is very evident. Lack of communication between the patient and the scheduling department seems to be at the forefront. There are times when patients fail to show up for their appointment or they are cancelling at the last minute. There appears to be some communication barriers between the radiologist and the MR Technologist as well. The radiologist requires the images as soon as the patient is scanned but the MR Technologist has great difficulty in meeting this request.

There is also concerns over employees being overworked. For example, the sole MR technologist, Jeff Sinclair was scheduled to work 40 hours per week. During the month of May, Jeff worked an additional 40 hours at a rate of 1.5 times his regular wage. The manager of the radiology department, Monica Zimmerman, was concerned that Sinclair was working too hard and for too long. She began to pressure Wright and Saskiw to hire another MT technologist to aid in alleviating some of Sinclair’s workload with the hopes of improving lead times. Monica believed that the most appropriate move would be to add a partial second shift in the late afternoon and early evening hours.

Environmental and Root Cause Analysis

Wright and Saskiw must provide recommendations and an action plan to deal with the process and productivity problem as it relates to extreme variability at BCMC.
After just six weeks in operation at BCMC, the clinic developed a waiting list and physicians began referring patients to competing facilities due to the long lead times.
In order to increase productivity and improve performance, the management of the clinic must make some decisions in order to properly...
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