Reducing hospital patient wait times

Retsef Levi

Retsef Levi

Pointing out that 16 cents of every dollar of the GDP in the U.S. goes to health care, Associate Professor of Operations Management Retsef Levisays that the United States spends more on health care than any other developed nation. Yet long patient wait times are a problem that continues to plague the system.

By approaching health care delivery as a management problem, Levi is collaborating with a major Boston hospital to reduce patient wait times by improving patient, information and resource flow through the perioperative care process. By getting rid of paper transactions, moving to a team-based model, and changing the process for assigning surgeries and doctors to operating rooms, the hospital was able to halve the average patient wait time from 88 minutes to 43 minutes.

During an Alumni Weekend presentation, Levi advocated for a research center at MIT Sloan that would bring together academics and all the participants in the health care system to address these types of systemic challenges within the U.S. health care system.

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