IHI faculty Dr. Kirk Jensen gives a high-level overview of hospital operations covering specifics of the four pillars of patient flow—medical leadership, patient flow, customer service, and patient safety—and how to “hardwire” efficient process for each. He discusses how to implement a proven patient flow methodology, why it is important to engage physicians in the process (and how to do so), and how to apply the principles to the ED, inpatient settings and surgical procedures.

After reviewing this presentations, viewers will know:

  • Why hardwiring flow helps organizations maximize the “Three Es”: Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Execution
  • How to implement a proven methodology for improving patient flow
  • Why it’s important to engage physicians in the flow process (and how to do so)
  • How to apply the principles of better patient flow to emergency departments, inpatient experiences, and surgical processes


Dr. Kirk B. Jensen has spent over 20 years in Emergency Medicine management and clinical care. Board-certified in Emergency Medicine, he has been medical director for several emergency departments and is Chief Medical Officer for Best Practices, Inc. Dr. Jensen is a faculty member for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. He chaired two IHI communities: “Improving Flow Through the Acute Care Setting” and “Operational and Clinical Improvement in the Emergency Department”. Currently he is a leader of the innovative IHI seminars Cracking the Code to Hospital-wide Patient Flow and Perfecting Emergency Department Operations.

Dr. Jensen is co-author of two books: Leadership for Smooth Patient Flow (2007 ACHE Hamilton Award winner) and Hardwiring Flow. In addition, Dr. Jensen served on the expert panel and site examination team of “Urgent Matters”, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative focusing on helping hospitals eliminate ED crowding and congestion as well as preserving the health care safety net.

Originally presented at the 2013 Patient Flow Summit

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