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Improved accessibility in outpatient care in Helse Sør-Øst


Helse Sør-Øst is Norway's largest health region, with a total budget of 70 billion SEK. One of Helse Sør-Øst's most important long-term strategic goals is to reduce waiting times in outpatient specialist care.

The challenge

Sirona was commissioned to support Helse Sør-Øst in the process of identifying areas with potential for productivity improvements in all of the region's areas of activity, as well as implementing the change process.


Sirona conducted quantitative analyses and reviews of Helse Sør-Øst's internal data and publicly available information. This was done in order to identify differences in productivity in all elective care in all areas of activity across the 10 different health authorities in the region.

Sirona conducted a simulation of the various initiatives to increase productivity, in order to establish a factual basis for further work on prioritising of queues and waiting times for the whole region and every hospital and clinic. Every hospital and clinic was then allowed considerable freedom in designing its own programme for further implementation. In close collaboration with Helse Sør-Øst's working group, Sirona then developed a system and process for regular and systematic monitoring of the clinics' improvement process. Our team also developed indicators for monitoring at hospital and clinic level, for example, of waiting times and the percentage of patients who did not receive treatment within the appointed time. In addition, the Sirona team provided process and methodology support to the Helse Sør-Øst working during the continuous improvement process. During the project, Sirona participated in workshops to anchor the results in the region's activities.


Sirona's work contributed to a comprehensive and long-term change process being launched in Helse Sør-Øst. During the first half of 2014, the work was anchored in the region's activities through the implementation of structured procedures for feedback of monitoring data which were developed by HSØ with support from Sirona. The preliminary results of the work show that the proportion of patients who do not receive treatment at the appointed time decreased on average from 6.3% to 5.2%. The trend indicates a continued decline; in September 2015 the proportion was only 4%.