Analysis and optimisation of outpatient clinics

31 january 2024

AZ Sint-Jan Brugge is a comprehensive hospital consisting of two campuses: the main campus Sint-Jan Brugge and the campus SFX. With a focus on both basic and highly specialized care, the hospital also has a clear tertiary character.

An essential goal of the hospital is to provide quality care. This is achieved by promoting the professional development of staff and physicians and striving to optimise the operation of the hospital.

Expertise: audit, qualitative and quantitative analysis, outpatient clinics, ambulatory care

Our project summarised

  • Client: AZ Sint-Jan Brugge
  • Period: september 2023 t.e.m. december 2023
  • Contact: Pieter Vanleenhove
  • Main goal: Analysis and propositions for improvement projects for outpatient clinics.
  • Main results: provided analyses, outpatient dashboard, and report with containing best practices, insights, and recommendations.

Project description


Outpatient clinics are currently facing significant challenges, driven by changes related to the shift of activities from the inpatient clinic and operating theatre to day hospitals and outpatient settings. As an additional challenge, hospitals are experiencing shortages of nursing and managerial staff, which are currently considered bottleneck occupations. This makes it crucial to optimize staff utilization.

The hospital setting has become more complex in recent years due to formation of hospital networks, care strategic challenges and the deployment of staff across campuses. In addition, outpatient clinics exhibit considerable diversity, ranging from surgical to internist disciplines and from larger to smaller outpatient clinics.


In light of these challenges, Sint-Jan Brugge contacted Hict to conduct an analysis of their outpatient clinics. The goal is to identify where optimisations are possible and how staff can be used more efficiently, taking into account the diversity and complexity of the different outpatient clinics.


Hict used a structured approach consisting of several phases.

Qualitative analysis

First, a qualitative data collection and analysis was carried out. This involved tours of various outpatient clinics, in collaboration with nurses and employees of the medical secretariat of the respective outpatient clinic. Additionally, written interviews were distributed and completed by various nurses, physicians and secretarial staff. Finally, individual and two group interviews were held with various stakeholders within the project. This comprehensive analysis aimed to identify the current functioning of the outpatient clinics.

Quantitative analysis

In addition to the qualitative analysis, a quantitative analysis was also conducted. This involved comparing data from attending physicians, activities, nurses, secretarial staff and patients. Based on the supplied data, Hict developed an 'outpatient dashboard'. This resulted in a detailed picture of the current workforce in relation to the activities per outpatient clinic during a predefined period.


These analyses revealed potential bottlenecks in the operation of the outpatient clinics. From these bottlenecks, several improvement projects were then formulated. These projects aimed at optimizing and more efficiently deploying staff at the outpatient clinics.

Sjb analyse poliklinieken


  • Intensive collaboration with the stakeholders from the outpatient clinics, as well as the members from the steering group.
  • Recommendations and propositions for improvement projects.
  • Delivery of quantitative and qualitative analyses.
  • Report containing best practices, valuable insights, and recommendations to implement more broadly across different outpatient clinics.

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