Moffitt Cancer Center's Efficiencies Enhance Patient Care and Satisfaction

January 20, 2011

TAMPA, Fla. (Jan. 20, 2011)Moffitt Cancer Center is making strides toward its long-term, strategic goal of cultivating a culture of Process Excellence. Moffitt recognizes the need to address operational issues and emphasize good stewardship. The patient experience has improved by making high quality, efficient and cost effective health care a priority.

Moffitt's Process Excellence program aligns with strategic goals such as improving safety for the patients and families they serve, reducing wait times, improving patient and staff satisfaction, and improving the bottom line.

Moffitt, a nonprofit institution with more than $600 million in revenue in 2010, showed that making small, obvious process changes can improve performance in a big way. In addition, Moffitt proved that cutting costs does not inevitably lead to lower quality care. By eliminating process waste and inefficiency, a health care institution can save money and improve patient care simultaneously.

"Our main goal in addressing organizational challenges is to facilitate the necessary thinking shift from viewing processes from the department's perspective to instead viewing them from our customer's perspective," said Ashly Mason, manager of Process Excellence. "By shifting this perspective, we in essence are putting ourselves in the customers' shoes, which results in processes more focused on patient- and family-centered care."

Process Excellence utilizes techniques such as Lean (Toyota's Production System) and a variety of other improvement methodologies. Projects include:

  • In the Outpatient Blood Draw area, which has more than 62,000 patient visits per year, patients experienced a 49 percent decrease in the length of their appointment through the streamlining of processes and shifting staff schedules to meet peak morning demand.
  • In the Infusion Center, which has more than 40,000 chemotherapy patient visits per year, improvements ranged from how patients are scheduled to how they are seated for treatment. Patient satisfaction with wait times has improved 29 percent.
  • In partnering with GE Healthcare, a project that received national attention in BusinessWeek, improving the efficiency in scheduling and use of operating rooms resulted in first case starts increasing from 13 percent in 2008 to 73 percent in 2010.

The Process Excellence department reports to Jack Kolosky, Moffitt's chief operating officer. "It was important that we start small to build enthusiasm and confidence throughout the institution and in doing so, faculty and staff across the organization now look to partner with the Process Excellence team to work on improvement opportunities," Kolosky said.

About Moffitt Cancer Center

Located in Tampa, Florida, Moffitt Cancer Center  is an NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center - a designation that recognizes Moffitt’s excellence in research and contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt currently has 14 affiliates in Florida, one in Georgia and two in Puerto Rico. Additionally, Moffitt is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a prestigious alliance of the country’s leading cancer centers, and is listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for cancer. Moffitt marks a very important anniversary this year – 25 years committed to one mission: to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.