Featured Article| Volume 19, ISSUE 3, 104508, March 2023

Using Lean Healthcare Techniques to Reduce Appointment Times

Published:February 15, 2023DOI:


      • Increased clinic appointment times lead to decreased patient throughput.
      • Lean healthcare techniques improve efficiency and clinic flow.
      • Lean healthcare implementation decreased appointment times by up to 10 minutes.
      • Lean healthcare techniques are small changes and require no money or extra steps.
      • Lean healthcare techniques should not reduce face-to-face patient care time.


      To reduce extended appointment times at a heart failure clinic, 3 Lean healthcare-based changes were planned and implemented one at a time over 4 months. Findings based on 1,267 appointments showed that appointment times decreased with proper implementation. Although staffing challenges and inadequate sample sizes prevented statistical analysis on consult appointments, follow-up appointment results were statistically significant based on 1-way analysis of variance and Tukey honest significant difference tests. Although the study period prevented the determination of a correlation between monthly clinic end times and average appointment times (patient throughput), in-room minute decreases suggest that lean healthcare techniques can be effective in this context.


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      Lindsay Frank, DNP, FNP-BC, is a DNP student at The University of Tulsa School of Nursing, Tulsa, OK, and can be contacted at [email protected] Anne Rader, DNP, FNP-BC is an instructor at The University of Tulsa School of Nursing, Tulsa, OK