Health care systems have utilized various process redesign methodologies to improve care delivery. This article describes the creation of a novel process improvement methodology, Rapid Process Optimization (RPO). This system was used to redesign emergency care delivery within a large academic health care system, which resulted in a decrease: (1) door-to-physician time (Department A: 54 minutes pre vs 12 minutes 1 year post; Department B: 20 minutes pre vs 8 minutes 3 months post), (2) overall length of stay (Department A: 228 vs 184; Department B: 202 vs 192), (3) discharge length of stay (Department A: 216 vs 140; Department B: 179 vs 169), and (4) left without being seen rates (Department A: 5.5% vs 0.0%; Department B: 4.1% vs 0.5%) despite a 47% increased census at Department A (34 391 vs 50 691) and a 4% increase at Department B (8404 vs 8753). The novel RPO process improvement methodology can inform and guide successful care redesign.
Keywords: emergency care; lean; process improvement; process redesign; quality improvement.