Background: We describe a quality improvement project to improve patient dwell times for outpatient cardiac nuclear medicine exams. Preliminary data indicated that the mean patient dwell time was about 270 minutes. Our specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goal was to reduce patient dwell times for outpatient pharmacologically stressed cardiac nuclear medicine exams by 60 minutes over the course of 2 months. Methods: An interdisciplinary team was formed which used staff interviews and workflow observation to create a cause and effect diagram as well as a process map. Review of the national guidelines for cardiac nuclear medicine exams identified rest and stress intervals as intervention targets. A new protocol was designed and implemented. Results: The mean patient dwell time was improved from 270 to 184 minutes. Conclusions: Overall, we found that a clear specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goal, limited scope, and national guideline review allowed for a successful quality improvement project.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging