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Quality Improvement Efforts May Improve Cath Lab Efficiencies

Positive outcomes include improved start times, turn-around times, and days at full utilization

MONDAY, Feb. 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) — A quality improvement intervention can reduce inefficiencies in the cardiac catheterization laboratory (cath lab), according to a study published online Jan. 31 in JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions.

Grant W. Reed, M.D., from the Cleveland Clinic, and colleagues performed an observational study to report metrics of efficiency before and after implementation of a cath lab quality improvement program in June 2014, which included implementation of a pyramidal nursing schedule, increased use of an electronic scheduling system, and increased utilization of a prep/recovery area.

The researchers found that from before to after the intervention, start times improved an average of 17 minutes and on-time starts improved from 61.8 to 81.7 percent (P = 0.0024). In addition, turn-around times improved from 20.5 to 16.4 minutes (trend P < 0.0001), and the proportion of days at full lab utilization improved from 7.7 to 77.3 percent (P < 0.00001). No increases in overtime, night, or weekend cases were seen. However, there was a reduction in full-time employees over the study period (from 36.1 in 2013 to 29.6 in 2016), with an improvement in employee satisfaction over the same period.

“This knowledge may be helpful in assisting other cath labs in similar efficiency improvement initiatives,” the authors write.

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