Getting to the Source of Inter-Regional Variation in Patient Flow Performance: A Complex Systems Perspective

Principal Investigator:  Sara Kreindler, University of Manitoba
Co-Investigator: Janet Joy, Vancouver Coastal Health

Issue: Patient flow – ensuring that patients receive the care they need, when and where they need it – is one of the greatest challenges facing healthcare today. While emergency department overcrowding is its most recognizable symptom, stagnant flow is widely recognized to be a system problem. Yet little is known about what flow-improvement strategies, especially system-level strategies, are truly effective.

Research Objective: This research, which was developed in collaboration with the Western Healthcare CEO forum, its associated Patient Flow Collaborative and all of its member regions, provincial stakeholders and Accreditation Canada, will meet healthcare leaders’ need for guidance on this crucial, complex issue.

Goal: To determine how health regions can achieve maximal improvement in patient flow.

Research Questions:

Approach: Mixed-methods comparative case study of Western Canada's 10 urban health regions/zones