Helping healthcare organizations meet their goals and advance their missions

A similar version of this article originally appeared as a sponsor profile in the Executive Women in Healthcare newsletter in early 2020.

CORE Planning Strategies is honored to sponsor organizations like Executive Women in Healthcare and further its mission of promoting the professional development of women leaders within the healthcare industry.

The opportunity to support organizations’ missions was one of the factors that led Deb Kunce to launch CORE Planning Strategies in 2012. Our mission is to help organizations develop and drive strategies that increase efficiencies, achieve ideal capital improvements, and transform communities.

That focus on efficiency is a top concern in all areas of healthcare. Through both design and operations, optimized processes not only improve throughput, they result in a better experience for patients, families, and caregivers.

As part our work on a recent healthcare project, CORE worked with a hospital and its user group to plan the placement of a “results” waiting area for their new emergency department. Based on data from a healthcare consultant, collaboration with other hospitals using a similar approach, and patient flow modeling, the model introduces 12 “results” waiting bays. The bays are outfitted with comfortable recliners and movable curtains, providing a place for lower acuity patients to go after their procedures. With square footage equal to that of six exam rooms, the 12 bays are visible from the main nurse’s station and located near discharge.

In addition to increasing throughput by freeing up exam rooms sooner, the approach is designed to drastically improve the patient and caregiver experience by addressing multiple dynamics related to the process of waiting. The thinking behind the “results” waiting area aligns with multiple lessons featured in the Harvard Business Publishing whitepaper, “The Psychology of Waiting Lines” by Associate Professor David H. Maister. Maister writes that “unoccupied time feels longer than occupied time,” and “anxiety makes waits seem longer.”

With the “results” waiting area approach, patients feel as though they are moving through the process rather than sitting in the same room. Providing patients with a sense of progress and comfort helps reduce the anxiety and stress that accompanies hospital visits.

The “results” waiting area is just one example of how CORE’s healthcare clients are focusing on the health and wellbeing of their communities. Whether it’s helping hospitals be more efficient in their day-to-day operations or during their once-in-a-lifetime project, CORE is grateful to support this overall purpose.

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