Karen Kruzer
Reducing Troponin Turnaround Time Through the Application of Lean/Six Sigma Processes and Evaluating Public Response Time to Heart Attack Symptoms

SchoolWest Geauga High School


ProgramScience


MentorTony Warmuth and Sherri Gross


DepartmentQuality Management and Lab at Hillcrest Hospital


Research
Reducing Troponin Turnaround Time Through the Application of Lean/Six Sigma Processes and Evaluating Public Response Time to Heart Attack Symptoms
Hypothesis
Disparities will exist between predicted wait times and actual wait times for patients seeking medical care when experiencing myocardial infarction (MI) symptoms. Application of Lean/Six Sigma will reduce troponin turnaround time in the Emergency Department (ED) and laboratory.
Methodology
A survey was developed and distributed through email, mailers and by hand to 1,225 subjects to assess public predicted wait times before seeking medical assistance when experiencing MI symptoms. Retrospective chart review was completed to identify duration of MI symptoms before patients present to ED. Lean/Six Sigma tools were utilized and implemented in ED and lab to improve troponin turnaround time. Retrospective chart review and survey responses were compared. Pre- and post- intervention data were collected and compared.
Outcomes
Subjects predicted seeking care within a median wait time of five minutes, but chart review identifies an approximate mean wait time of four days, with median wait time of about one day. Lean/6 Sigma engineering reduced total turnaround time from 116 minutes to 61 minutes and significantly reduced troponin turnaround time. Recommendations include increased public awareness of the waiting time disparity and applying Lean/Six Sigma processes to additional institutions.

Interpretations

The Waiting Heart by Cody Reshonsky

Heart Failure by Kate Baker

Don't Wait by Chelsea Hart

Victor Lesisz, Marissa Rose

The Waiting Heart...Essay and Graph, "Don't Wait" — Gematria, Title Cipher