Heart Catheterization Lab reduces patient turnaround time in three areas

The UNC Cath Lab has reduced patient turnaround time by 30-60 percent during a nine-month period, significantly decreasing wait time for the patients and their families.

The Center for Heart & Vascular Care's Heart Catheterization Lab has reduced patient turnaround time by 30-60 percent in three different areas.

From June 1, 2011 - Feb. 24, 2012, the Cath Lab worked to reduce turnaround time in:

  1. The start time of the first case of the workday
  2. The time between when a patient leaves the Cath Lab to the next patient receiving Lidocaine
  3. The time between when a patient leaves the Cath Lab to the next patient prep

At the start of the program in June 2011, the first patient was treated in the Cath Lab - on average - at 8:51 a.m. During the next nine months, the Cath Lab physicians and staff worked to streamline procedures and improve communication to move their start time closer to their goal of 8 a.m.

After six months of work, the pilot phase of the program began, and the staff had already improved their start time by a whopping 34 minutes, averaging a start of 8:17 a.m. During the rollout phase, they continued at this pace, and by implementation at the end of February, they had achieved an 8:15 a.m. start time for the first Cath Lab patient of the workday. This represents a 60 percent improvement.

They also succeeded in decreasing the time between when a patient leaves the Cath Lab to the next patient receiving Lidocaine by an average of 17 minutes (a 28.3 percent improvement).

The time between when a patient leaves the Cath Lab to the next patient Prep was reduced by 18 minutes, on average (a 30 percent improvement).

Kate Clegg, Cardiac Support Manager for the UNC Heart & Vascular Center, says, “Teamwork is dream work. Our Cath Lab physicians and staff knocked our improved turnaround times out of the park!”

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