IHO Variability Methodology®

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The IHO Variability Methodology┬« programme conculded in 2019 and is no longer an active programme of the Modernising Patient Pathway Programme. However, below resources remain available to Health Board teams.


Aims of IHO Variability Methodology®

Work with the Institute of Healthcare Optimisation focused on defining and understanding the impact that variation has on patient flow within hospitals, with the following aims:

  • Improve the quality, safety and efficiency of healthcare delivered for patients using a whole systems approach.
  • Improve patient flow across the healthcare system.
  • To build a sustainable infrastructure and long term sustainability through the development of capacity and capability in NHS staff in the application of operations management science.
  • To inform and support the wider agenda and priorities for whole system patient flow.
  • Ensure there is executive, middle management, clinical leadership and ownership of whole system patient flow and continuous quality improvement.
  • Understand the interdependencies and related flows across both acute, primary, community in both health and social care and recognise the role they play in achieving whole system patient flow.
Specific objectives of the programme included
  • Improved patient and staff experience/satisfaction
  • Reduced waits/delays and improved access to care
  • Reduced mortality and medical errors
  • Optimal patient placement
  • Improved utilisation of resources and improved tolerance during times of peak activity
  • Reduced length of stay
  • Increased hospital throughput
  • Increased improvement capability and capacity for staff and awareness of whole system working
  • Efficiency and productivity gains
IHO Variability Methodology Workstreams

The programme consisted of three workstreams:

  • Optimising Operating Theatres
  • Optimising Surgical Inpatient Flow
  • Optimising Inpatient Medical Flow

This webpage will be updated with information about forthcoming meetings and developments relating to IHO Variability Methodology work. In the meantime, if you have any queries please email: MPPP@gov.scot


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