Healthcare performance improvement in the ED

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Improving throughput and the patient experience at Lakeland Regional Medical Center

Despite investing in healthcare performance improvements such as mobile Ultrasound (US) units with wireless capabilities, Lakeland was still experiencing challenges with delivering services for the ED within the target timeframe.


Several issues were identified as possible causes of delay.


Philips was asked to provide external validation of the identified issues and to make recommendations for additional improvements in ultrasound exam efficiency in the ED.


Our project recommendations focused on mitigating delays while improving patient throughput and the overall patient experience. The subsequent improvements resulted in Lakeland winning EmCare’s 2014 Genesis Cup Award for ED Innovations*.

The Philips team provided a thorough analysis and astute performance recommendations. As a result, we made several changes that helped us to significantly improve our workflow and our patient care experiences.”

Maureen Leckie, RN, MSN, Associate Vice President of Clinical Operations

Lakeland Regional Medical Center

Improving throughput and the patient experience at Lakeland Regional

Decreased exam time
Increased patient throughput
Enhanced patient satisfaction

Our approach

Following a project and scope review, our consulting team recommended a short-term performance improvement engagement to provide a rapid assessment.


A collaborative Philips-Lakeland project team including clinical staff and members of management agreed to the key project goals:


  • Measure current performance
  • Assess and identify operational inefficiencies
  • Recommend change initiatives/programs to increase performance
  • Prioritize the recommendations and present to management


Key recommendations

Bases on Philips analysis the following recommendations were made:


  • Improve alignment between triage and ultrasound to reduce non-value travel time and improve resource utilization
  • Relocate and reconfigure the technologist workstation to allow two techs to utilize the space at once
  • Modify the existing ultrasound room, bathroom, and probe cleaning area to streamline patient care
  • Improve the ultrasound area assets to reduce rework
  • Divert patients to the most appropriate care level to streamline workflow


Lakeland implemented many of the Philips recommendations including:

  • Use of single patient rooms to leverage portable devices and shorten exam times.
  • Modified ED Ultrasound Rooms to add a dedicated restroom to reduce delays and improve patient satisfaction.
  • Moved the technologist workstation to allow two techs to simultaneously use the space.
  • Use of ‘sleep mode’ on the Philips EPIQ systems, allowing movement between rooms without the delay of shut-down and restart.


These changes have resulted in immediate improvements* including:


  • Decreased exam times
  • Increased patient throughput
  • Improved workflow efficiency
  • Enhanced patient satisfaction

Improving throughput and the patient experience at Lakeland Regional

Decreased exam time
Increased patient throughput
Enhanced patient satisfaction

*Results from case studies are not predictive of results in other cases. Results in other cases may vary.

Lakeland Regional Medical Center

Where: Lakeland Regional Medical Center, Lakeland, FL.


What: Improve examination turnaround time for diagnostic ultrasound services


How: Conducted data analysis, staff interviews, and onsite observations, followed by root cause analysis and prioritized change recommendations.


Results: Average two hours length of stay reduction, ~ 80% of patients are treated and discharged or admitted to an inpatient bed in fewer than three hours.*

Meet our team

Mel Allen

Mel Allen, JD, MBA, FACHE

Principal and Practice Operations Lead

Mel brings decades of experience in healthcare management with expertise in radiology, cardiology, oncology, hospital performance improvement, and health law. He helps clients improve operational performance and enhance the patient experience.

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