Timely diagnosis of ADHD in children is crucial for accessing effective management and treatment services, which support better outcomes for individuals and their families. Access to timely ADHD diagnosis services was challenging in many regions even before the pandemic. In Canada and internationally, this has worsened since the start of the pandemic – with the move to virtual working causing backlogs for patients who need physical exams before they can be prescribed medication.
Understanding the need to optimize their diagnostic pathway to reduce their waiting list, a community healthcare provider in Canada recently asked Edge Health to undertake an independent review of their ADHD diagnostic pathway and provide recommendations on what could be done to deliver improvements.
By analyzing appointment and waiting list data, Edge Health were able to identify opportunities to deliver a 13% efficiency improvement. These opportunities, equivalent to 25 hours of clinician time saved for every 100 new diagnoses, could be delivered through restructuring key processes in the diagnostic pathway – effectively requiring little to no additional cost or staffing.
Throughout this process, we have worked closely and collaboratively with practice staff. This approach was taken to help make sure any changes to the diagnostic pathway would be clinically safe and valid, but also supported and deliverable locally.
Edge Health’s Senior Consultant, Jennifer Connolly, said:
“Our approach combined advanced data analytics with face-to-face engagement with a range of people involved in administrative and clinical activities at the practice. While data hold many of the answers to some of the trickiest problems, it is important to do this in close collaboration with clinical and administrative teams.”
Equally it remains clear that the full extent of the challenge faced by many clinics across Canada will also require solutions that involve expanding the healthcare workforce and investing in and developing technology.
Tackling the issues of long waiting lists will remain a core issue for some time. This is especially true given worldwide challenges for the recruitment of clinical staff, but near-term solutions can often be found through careful data analytics combined with thoughtful engagement with practice staff.
Contact Jennifer at [email protected] to learn more about our work in Canada and more generally on elective waiting lists.