Upcoming Events

Patient Throughput Barriers and Solutions

May 24, 2023

Dr. Derek Feuquay and Mr. Jake Lansburg of Northern Arizona Healthcare; our LeaderDialogue co-hosts: Dr. Roger Spoelman, Dr. Chuck Peck, Ben Sawyer and Dr. Darin Vercillo from ABOUT Healthcare.

Patient throughput defines the flow of patients from one phase of care to the next, admission through discharge, and then back to home or the next best transition of care. Throughput success is measured by how efficiently and effectively patients are able to gain access to, and receive the care needed, as they move across the system. In short, it is purposeful velocity that define patient throughput performance.

Velocity is increased by optimizing the sequence of patient care activities called value streams. When waste such as delays, errors, and inefficient transportation are eliminated from these operations what remains is the ability to provide more value in less time. Creating unobstructed patient flow in these value streams is key to improving patient throughput velocity.

Patient throughput also drives health system capacity and is the key determinant of productivity. Providers and staff are much more productive as patient throughput efficiency increases, thereby improving their job satisfaction.

As the demand for health care continues to rise associated with changing demographics and increasing patient acuity, health systems struggle more than ever with capacity constraints, insufficient productivity, and increasing financial deficits – exacerbated by the persistent staffing gaps since the pandemic.

The necessity to improve patient throughput has continued to intensify as healthcare budgets stagnate and decline.

The imperative then is for health systems is improve their patient throughput in order to accommodate patient demand, reduce inefficiency and waste in their processes, expand capacity, and improve patient care and satisfaction.

The barriers to optimal patient throughput however are many including long lead times, inefficient capacity coordination, and siloed processes. Contributions to these barriers include inadequate staffing, inconsistent standards, insufficient operational planning, and limited data insights.


Roger Spoelman

Co-Host·Baldrige Foundation LeaderDialogue Program

Roger is a healthcare executive with more than 38 years of industry experience. He recently served as interim CEO at Trinity Health Regional Systems in New England, Ohio, and Loyola University Health System in Illinois. His tenure at Trinity Health included leading several hospital mergers, and later as regional executive for the corporation’s Mercy Health operations.

Charles (Chuck) Peck, MD, FACS

Co-Host·Baldrige Foundation LeaderDialogue Program

Charles (Chuck) is an internist and rheumatologist with more than 35 years of healthcare experience as a clinician, scientist, medical school faculty member, administrator, medical director, CEO, and partner in Guidehouse, a global healthcare advisory company. Chuck’s recent projects include a $108M financial turnaround of a $2B integrated health system in the NE leading to their affiliation with a leading academic health system and was a member of President Biden’s HHS transition team.

Ben Sawyer, MBA, PT, OCS, LBB

Vice President, Transformation Engineering·ABOUT Healthcare

Ben has more than 35 years of industry experience, most recently serving as CEO of SOAR Vision Group, and EVP of Care Logistics. Ben is a physical therapist and orthopedic clinical specialist (OCS) by training. After securing his MBA, he moved into hospital administration in a leadership role overseeing performance and quality improvement. During that time Ben achieved his Lean Black Belt certification (LBB).

Dr. Derek Feuquay

Chief Medical Officer·Northern Arizona Health

Dr. Feuquay was named Northern Arizona Healthcare’s chief medical officer in 2019. He joined NAH in 2009 as an internal medicine hospitalist at Flagstaff Medical Center before becoming medical director of hospitalist medicine at FMC in 2011. In 2018, he became the NAH physician advisor. In each of his positions, he has served as a leader and role model for the physician community.

Jacob Lansburg

System Vice President of Care Transformation & Effectiveness·Northern Arizona Health

Jake Lansburg joined Northern Arizona Healthcare in March 2020. He is currently the System Vice President of Care Transformation & Effectiveness with executive oversight of organizational clinical performance, Quality and safety, Infection Prevention, Care Transformation and improvement, Research, Data & Analytics, and Care Coordination.

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