Ryerson Medical Clinic Study

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INTRODUCTION

Waiting times for patient health care have been widely considered a problem in a variety of environments, including hospital emergency rooms as well as health care clinics. They remain one of the most significant issues facing our health care systems, and many studies have been conducted looking to improve current medical center situations. The main issue creating such problems is that hospital and health care clinic's facilities and resources have become insufficient, leading to chronic overcrowding and patients not being treated efficiently -- sometimes in the case of an emergency. This article aims to analyze and understand the functionality of the Ryerson Medical Centre, through conducting in-field research and completing a review of the findings. The point of this study is to provide a breakdown of numbers to determine which areas are causing congestion in the flow of the clinic, rather than judge or evaluate how to clinic is running. Other reports, as well as medical officers, have suggested in the hospital environment that the main problem effecting wait times is the lack of hospital beds. However, in the environment under study this was not as prominent of an issue. In the case of the medical clinic, it was found that most wait times are due to patients not showing up to their appointments, thus causing backlogging in the system. This study presents the main causes of wait times, the impacts of these wait times, and an initiative to attempt to reduce excess wait. The study therefore estimates the potential benefits that can be realized through creating a more efficient policy initiative in order to eliminate unnecessary wait times. APPROACH

The first step to approach the project was to define what was being studied and how to go about doing so. The definition of a 'wait time' and what it consisted of had to be considered, and is further discussed in the following report. Hospitals and medical clinics have the data showing wait times for each patient, however this does not consider relative urgency of the condition or priority of the patients. Beyond this accessing this information was not an option due to patient confidentiality. Because of this information had to be gathered via in-clinic visits, measuring the time between when the patient arrived in the clinic, how long they had to wait before speaking to a receptionist, and how long it took before they arrived in the doctor's office. Online research was vital to gathering information regarding benchmarks in the industry and the main factors that affected wait times in the health sector. Researching the wait times in other provinces and countries helped to calculate what approximate wait times currently were, as well as helped to determine possible solutions by examining what changed were made to improve patient prioritization and control. The fundamental purpose of this report is to study and effectively make suggestions to improve all wait times for medical attention. Although the main research was conducted via the Ryerson Medical Center attention has been focused on other areas of concern, including hospitals and clinics across Ontario. It is the goal of this paper to take a wide-spectrum approach to the issue, in order to find solutions that may improve a vaster range of medical scenarios. Efforts to find solutions to these issues are exacerbated due to lack of reliable information on the subject as well as disagreement in what defines the actual wait time. Wait time in general should be calculated from the time of the General Practitioner referral to the provision of service. For the purpose of this study a standard had to be defined from the beginning; the wait time examined was measured from the time the patient enters the clinic until the time they are able to see a doctor. However, we must address the fact that this limits reliability on actual wait times for patients. By measuring only the time that...
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