“The Philips consultants started in November 2018,” Jolanda recalls. “During the first few weeks, they observed the department’s processes and interviewed all our staff in depth about any bottlenecks and issues they experience. Every two weeks, they gave us feedback, and we used this to jointly formulate our research question.”
Matthijs Bax is a Cardiologist and spends half of his time as Medical Manager of the cardiology department at Reinier de Graaf Hospital. He and Jolanda form the cardiology management team. “The Philips consultants took a very practical approach. They sat down with our staff and asked them, ‘What would be easiest to implement and what would have the biggest impact?’
One idea we investigated was earlier discharge from the cardiology ward. It might be possible to achieve by restructuring the process for the ward rounds. “This idea was worked out using a real co-creation approach,” explains Versteegen, “in short sessions with big boards and sticky notes.” Bax says, “Everyone got involved—nursing staff, ward physicians, cardiologists, assistants—and had a chance to give their input, which was very valuable.” Using simulation models and calculations, the consultants presented a clear picture of the impact that changing the discharge process would have on the department.