Cath Lab Flow Improvement Reduces Unnecessary Waiting and Delays for Patients and Creates a Cath Lab of Capacity

Saint Joseph Health Care
Lexington, Kentucky, USA

Michelle Abrams, Manager Cath Lab
Jeff Norton, Director of Process Improvement
Denise Sparks, Cath Lab
Nanette Richardson, Cath Lab
Sherry Tichenor, VP Performance Improvement


To process 40 cases in 55 hours while improving quality, patient satisfaction, and cost.



  • Cases per day
  • Daily room turnaround time
  • Immediate “Yes”
  • Number of times caregiver has to leave the room for supplies
  • Wait for a bed
  • Patient satisfaction, labor productivity



Nine areas of focus, in total. Room turnaround focused on the following:

  • Identify all tasks for room turnaround
  • Design the process to perform
  • Pilot test (first without patients)
  • Iterate until meeting goal
  • Spread


Summary of Results / Lessons Learned / Next Steps
By applying manufacturing techniques to reduce the turnaround time for Cath labs we improved patient satisfaction, reduced unwanted waiting and delays and created a Cath lab worth of capacity.


St. Joseph Health Care reduced Cath lab room turnaround (done to 1st stick) from 43 minutes to less than 20 minutes over a three-month period. This eliminated waiting and delays for patients by allowing a more predictable schedule, while creating an additional cath lab of capacity and the potential for $4.5 million in additional revenue.


Contact Information

Jeff Norton, Director of Process Improvement
Saint Joseph HealthCare

[Storyboard presentation at IHI's National Forum, December 2004]


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