Minutes Behind Graph

Mark Murray & Associates, LLC
Sacramento, California, USA
 
A "Minutes Behind" graph is a very helpful way to show graphically the effect of providers starting late/staying late, starting late/catching up, and starting on time/getting late. 
 
The x (horizontal) axis is the time of day in appointment increments (ie -8:45, 9:00, 9:15, etc. if in 15-minute increments). 
 
The y (vertical) axis is the number of minutes behind, so would start at a negative number (in case they are ahead), come up to 0 (right on time), and proceed upwards from 0 (for # of minutes behind). So it might start with -20, -15, -10, -5, 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, etc.
 
Case Study
One practice noticed that they were at 0 (on time) every day until about 10:30, and then got about 15 minutes behind. When they thought about what happened around 10:30, they discovered that a bolus of lab results arrived every day, and the MD took about 15-20 minutes to review. Once they understood, they were able to flex and adapt.
 
Directions
Calibrate your axes with the appropriate start/end time and intervals. For every appointment time on the x axis, graph the number of minutes behind or ahead by provider. Whatever time the MD actually starts, graph the "minutes behind" or ahead. For example, if the provider gets in the room at 9:00 AM for the 8:45 AM patient, then at the 9:00 AM time, they are 15 minutes behind. Do that every 15 minutes, and watch the MD individual patterns emerge. If the providers starts on time at 8:45 AM, put a 0 in at that time. Show the providers the data, and analyze the patterns with them for insights and opportunities to improve.

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