Infusion scheduling: winning the game of Tetris

By Mohan Giridharadas, CEO and Sanjeev Agrawal, COO, LeanTaaS - Print  | 

Operational leaders in oncology know exactly how difficult it is to balance the multiple tradeoffs needed to schedule infusion services efficiently.

Patients want a consistent appointment for each week of their 8-week infusion regimen; nurses want a predictable time to eat lunch and end their shift each day; the clinical staff want the flexibility to accommodate a last-minute add-on or a new, emergent case; and finally, the finance and administration leadership want the chairs and nursing staff in the infusion center to have a high - but manageable - level of utilization.

This seems like it might be a simple scheduling problem. All that’s needed is to ensure a chair is available for each patient at the scheduled time of their appointment. When chairs are fully booked, appointments can’t be offered until one is freed. A talented nursing staff should be able to manage the workload if the chairs are clustered into pods and each pod has the right number of nurses with the appropriate skillset. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth!

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