Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Applying business to medicine.

Byline: Winthrop Quigley Journal Staff Writer

* Lovelace, Presbyterian discover they can cut admissions and appointment delays with traditional practices

What if you ran a medical practice the way Ford builds cars or Dell builds computers?

Lovelace Health Systems and Presbyterian Medical Group have discovered you reduce hospital admissions, shorten the time it takes to get a doctor's appointment and lower costs.

Standard manufacturing management techniques, such as forecasting demand, setting standards and running processes in parallel, are relatively new in physician practice management.

But implementing some of them has allowed pilot clinics at Lovelace to cut the wait for a physical examination from 12 days to less than one day. Implementing others has enabled Presbyterian physicians to admit 62 fewer congestive heart failure patients to the hospital per year at a saving of $307,000.

More important, surveys and staff reports show patients are happier and healthier, hospital officials say. …

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