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Capacity Planning Cuts Patient Waiting Times

NZ Developed Capacity Planning System Saves Costs And Cuts Patient Waiting Times

It’s a familiar image - crowded waiting rooms, medical staff struggling to keep up with demand, patients sent home and operations cancelled.

For managers, one of the biggest challenges in the health care sector is ensuring enough staff are available to cope with the peaks and troughs of patient flows, while working within the staffing budget.

However a New Zealand company specialising in capacity planning and forecasting has a software-based solution that utilises existing resources to reduce patient waiting times, without incurring additional costs.

Christchurch company Emendo has developed CapPlan, its capacity management system and processes, in association with leading health care providers around the country, and says what if offers goes far beyond anything else on the market.

CapPlan is a suite of tools that matches people and resources to both acute and elective demand, allowing health managers to more accurately establish staff and resource requirements.

The system is “patient-centric” says Emendo founder and Director, Nick Burns.

“CapPlan helps health managers to better understand the impact of patient flows on workloads and allows them to anticipate demands on staff and resources. This means managers can plan for staff and resources to be available when and where they are most needed.”

The CapPlan systems analyse historical data, forecast and project future work loads and then develops capacity plans so that health managers can confidently develop schedules, staff rosters and arrange annual leave on a regular basis.

Emendo has worked with White Cross to develop CapPlan A & E, designed specially for managing an acute environment. Dr Debbie Holdsworth, General Manager of White Cross in Auckland says CapPlan is already proving a success.

"Almost immediately in the first clinic we have identified opportunities to not only reduce the cost of delivering care, but also to reduce the time patients have to wait at peak times during the day."

Nick Burns believes that future expenditure on management systems within the heath sector must give managers demonstrable results, be affordable and help front line staff deliver effective care.

“With our CapPlan system and management services we give a one hundred per cent guarantee that we will find ways to develop efficiencies within the organisation. And because the system is based on Microsoft ASP.Net technology, there is very little IT infrastructure required,” he says.

Nick says Emendo is so confident its CapPlan solution and services can quickly identify efficiency opportunities and reduce patient waiting times, it is offering a free trial to any health care provider that is interested.

Launched in 2000, Emendo has delivered capacity management solutions for a number of District Health Boards, private hospitals and primary care clinics around New Zealand.

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