The Mater Private Hospital in Dublin, one of Ireland’s leading private hospitals, applied digital process optimization using workflow simulation that made it possible to achieve their desired optimizations results within a matter of only a few weeks.
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As one of the leading private hospitals in Ireland, the Mater Private Hospitals (MPH) in Dublin strives to make its facilities the best place for patients to receive care, for employees to work, and for healthcare professionals to practice medicine, treat patients, and provide the highest quality healthcare. However, with growing patient demand, increasing clinical complexity, ageing infrastructure, and lack of space, it was becoming increasingly difficult to deliver efficient patient care. Rapid advances in medical technology were underlining the need to not only update, but also to implement additional equipment. Perhaps most important of all, rising waiting times, interruptions, and delays were having a negative impact on patient experience.
To overcome these challenges, MPH and Siemens Healthineers partnered to redesign the layout and infrastructure of the MPH radiology department. Successfully redesigning an entire department that leads to significant improvements often requires months, even years, of trial and error. However, the team applied digital process optimization using workflow simulation along the entire project that made it possible to achieve their desired re-designs and optimizations results within a matter of only a few weeks.
Insights from a digital twin
The teams involved analyzed and applied operational data to simulate the actual MRI and CT workflows while the current layouts were reviewed to identify potential improvements. To gain further insights into the current set-up, they conducted a one-week on-site assessment, which included workshops, stakeholder interviews, and process observation. Based on the analysis outcomes, the team created a 3D computer model of the radiology department and its operations. The result was a so-called digital twin that enabled them to test different new operational scenarios and layouts. Realistic 3D animations and quantitative reports made it possible to predict the operational scenarios and instantly evaluate alternative options to find the right solution to transform care delivery.
“With the increasing focus on value-based radiology, where the patient experience matters as much as cost, it’s reassuring to have this kind of insight at our fingertips.”
“It was amazing watching our 2D plans transform into 3D and then 4D reality. Thanks to our digital twin, we now have the best possible configuration for our department,” explains Associate Professor Paddy Gilligan, Chief Physicist & Registered Radiation Protection Advisor, at Mater Private Hospital Dublin. “With the increasing focus on value-based radiology, where the patient experience matters as much as cost, it’s reassuring to have this kind of insight at our fingertips.”
Operational excellence that translates into patient and staff benefits
As MPH strives to be the best place to receive care, improving their patients’ experience was high on their agenda. By redesigning the changing rooms, in a way that actively supports smooth processes, they created a more pleasant environment for their patients. Through optimized workflows, while at the same time increasing exam capacity, MPH reduced not only the patient waiting times but also the turnaround for CT and MRI. In addition, they improved the dedicated maneuvering areas to make it easier for staff to care for bedridden and wheelchair patients.
The use of a digital twin gave MPH the ability to gain state-to-the-art insights they needed to make informed decisions about redesigning facility design, processes optimization and future operations. The approach served as a springboard for change and transformation - and the hospital is pleased to see the changes are having a positive impact on both staff and patient experience.
About the Mater Private Hospital in Dublin
The Mater Private Hospital in Dublin has been in operation since 1986. Over 200 specialists bring their patients to MPH for treatment and care. In 2017 alone, 1,300 physicians and nurses treated 205,000 patients in the 205-bed hospital.
About the Author
Stephanie Scharff is an editor at Siemens Healthineers.