Managing Waiting Times in Diagnostic Medical Imagining

British Medical Journal Open, 2012

11 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2013

See all articles by Sabina Nuti

Sabina Nuti

Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna - Institute of Management

Milena Vainieri

Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna di Pisa

Date Written: December 31, 2012

Abstract

This paper aims to analyze the variation in the delivery of diagnostic imaging services in order to suggest possible solutions for the reduction of waiting times, increase the quality of services and reduce financial costs.

Design: This study provides a logic model to manage waiting times in a regional context. Waiting times measured per day were compared on the basis of the variability in the use rates of CT and MRI examinations in Tuscany for the population, as well as on the basis of the capacity offered with respect to the number of radiologists available. The analysis was performed at the local health authority level to support the decision-making process of local managers.

Setting: diagnostic imaging services, in particular the CT and RMI exams. The study involved all the 12 local health authorities that provide services for 3.7 million inhabitants of the Italian Tuscany Region.

Primary and secondary outcome measures: Participants: The study uses regional administrative data on outpatients and survey data on inpatient diagnostic exams in order to measure productivity.

Primary and secondary outcome measures: The study uses the volumes per 1000 inhabitants, the days of waiting times and the number of exams per radiologist. Variability was measured using the traditional standard deviation measures.

Results A significant variation in areas considered homogeneous in terms of age, gender or mortality may indicate that the use of radiological services is not optimal and underuse or overuse occurs and that there is room for improvement in the service organization.

Conclusions Considering that there is a high level of variability among district use rates and waiting times, this study provides managers with a specific tool to find the cause of the problem, identify a possible solution, assess the financial impact and initiate the eventual reduction of waste.

Suggested Citation

Nuti, Sabina and Vainieri, Milena, Managing Waiting Times in Diagnostic Medical Imagining (December 31, 2012). British Medical Journal Open, 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2251974

Sabina Nuti (Contact Author)

Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna - Institute of Management ( email )

Biblioteca Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna
Piazza Martiri della Liberta n. 33
Pisa, Pisa 56127
Italy
+39 050 883996 (Phone)
+39 050 883890 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.meslab.sssup.it/en/index.php?page=Nuti

Milena Vainieri

Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna di Pisa ( email )

Biblioteca Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna
Piazza Martiri della Liberta, n. 33
Pisa, 56127
Italy

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