Finding Savings While Improving Service in Healthcare

January 4, 2019 By: Senior Management | Topics: Healthcare, Operations Improvement, Transportation Management

Today’s healthcare institutions are often challenged to deliver the highest quality of care while staying on budget. In Cleveland, Ohio, three large Integrated Delivery Networks (IDNs) and various smaller ones compete to service the market in the state’s third largest metropolitan area.

MetroHealth (MH), one of the three largest IDNs in the city, consists of a large acute care hospital that houses a Level 1 Adult Trauma and Burn Center, a skilled nursing facility, and more than twenty-five locations throughout Cuyahoga County. The system handles more than one million annual patient visits.

MetroHealth is focused on keeping people healthy and is constantly looking for ways to increase access to care for its patients. Many patients require transportation to and from the hospital for various medical appointments. The system provides services to patients from their homes to a specific facility and back every day. This is accomplished through a central dispatch/routing manager that manually develops the schedule by working with the appointment scheduler.

MetroHealth engaged Sedlak Supply Chain Consultants to analyze the current operation of its transportation vehicles to optimize efficiency while maintaining or improving patient satisfaction.

What Sedlak Did: Sedlak performed a Routing/Route optimization analysis using 8 months of data on actual patient activity from MetroHealth. The data and analysis allowed Sedlak to:

  • Determine the best vehicle(s) to transport patients.
  • Determine staff levels to accomplish required trips each day.
  • Calculate productivity rates on current routes.
  • Introduce route scheduling software that recommends routing solutions across multiple scenarios and demonstrates investment.

As a result of Sedlak’s work, MetroHealth was able to:

  • Demonstrate increased utilization of fleet assets and drivers.
  • Demonstrate improved patient experience/travel and wait times.
  • Recommend a routing solution that:
    • Optimizes the schedule “on the fly.”
    • Provides GPS-enabled equipment for the drivers/vans.
    • Eliminates paper and manual routing.
    • Will grow with increased patient traffic.

The same kind of optimization opportunities exist within IDNs where individual departments utilize departmental drivers of outside courier services to carry supplies, reports, and files across the system, often passing each other or showing up at the same place at the same time. Significant opportunities exist to address a significant cost-saving opportunity that often goes overlooked.

For more information on how Sedlak might be able to help you address these issues, contact our consulting staff at

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