[Quality management: reduced waiting time and enhanced efficiency in a university ear, nose, and throat outpatient department]

M Helbig, S Helbig, R Knecht, H A Kahla-Witzsch, W Gstöttner
HNO 2007, 55 (1): 29-35

BACKGROUND: The introduction of Diagnosis-Related Groups, which standardize payment for each clinical service, entails keeping the inpatient treatment as short as possible. Thus outpatient treatment is gaining in importance. To cope with this change, organizational and structural modifications of clinic routine are necessary.

METHODS: In the ear, nose, and throat outpatient clinic of Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany, a hotline was established that allows patients to make appointments and get advice based on quality management guidelines according to DIN EN ISO 9001:2000. The development of this project is described here step by step, from planning to inclusion in the daily clinic routine.

RESULTS: Patient visits became more effective despite increasing demand. This resulted in high satisfaction of patients and clinic personnel alike.

CONCLUSION: This model may contribute considerably to coping with the increasing demand for clinic appointments and to optimal use of a clinic's human resources.

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