Overcrowding is endemic in most US hospitals, and untangling patient flow is a top priority for today’s healthcare leaders. Smash the Bottleneck: Fixing Patient Flow for Better Care (and a Better Bottom Line) lays out a concrete methodology for getting to the root of patient-flow problems and addressing them—quickly. The book highlights a continuous improvement methodology known as the Theory of Constraints (TOC), which emphasizes identifying, optimizing, and breaking down bottlenecks to improve overall system performance. Introduced in Eliyahu M. Goldratt’s seminal business book The Goal, this method and its concepts have since been adopted by Fortune 500 companies worldwide. Uniquely, the authors tie TOC to healthcare delivery from a practitioner’s point of view. They provide numerous examples of common health system bottlenecks to illustrate how the methodology can be applied in readers’ own organizations. The book also showcases precisely how TOC can help: decrease length of stay in inpatient units; coordinate resources and break down organizational silos; reduce overcrowding and increase throughput in emergency departments; and shorten wait times in primary and specialty care clinics, imaging centers, and surgery centers. Poor patient flow has grave implications for quality of care, patient satisfaction, provider well-being, and an organization’s bottom line. Discover the practical knowledge and tools that you can use to break bottlenecks and enact meaningful, lasting change.
About the Author
Danilo Sirias, PhD, is currently a professor in the Department of Management and Marketing at Saginaw Valley State University. Christopher Strear, MD, FACEP, is currently the director of patient flow, as well as director of revenue cycle management, for Northwest Acute Care Specialists and is an attending emergency physician at a Level 1 trauma center in Portland, Oregon.