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Reduce the Waiting Time for New Referrals in a Private Dermatology Clinic

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posted on 2021-06-23, 08:44 authored by Sandy Luc

Long waiting lists are continuing to be a global healthcare issue and Ireland is no exception. The World Health Organisation declared a global pandemic in early 2020 and as a consequence, waiting lists are lengthened even further. Data collection from this study revealed that in November 2019, a total of 181 patients attended the private dermatology clinic yet only 8% were new patients. The average time new patients waited for this appointment was 121.77 days. In November 2019 the practice received 48 referrals from general practitioners and similarly, patients were required to wait for an average of 121.8 days before their first appointment. Moles or lesions requiring further investigation were the most common reason for referral (56%) followed by acne (15%). Further data collection and analysis was unattainable due to the cessation of clinical placement as a result of COVID-19 at the time. However, data did show a large volume of return patients attended the clinic. The focus of this quality improvement plan is to reduce waiting times for new patients referred to a private dermatology clinic. Patients referred due to suspicious moles or lesions will be streamlined to a nonphysician led clinic, specifically an Advanced Practice Provider, to see these cohort of patients. The Lean Six Sigma Model with the use of the DMAIC framework and quality improvement tools assisted with the development of this project. This proposed plan anticipates to reduce waiting times for new patients by 50% following two years of implementation.


First Supervisor

Dr Pauline Joyce


A thesis submitted in part fulfilment of the degree of MSc in Physician Associate Studies, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. 2020

Published Citation

Luc S. Reduce the Waiting Time for New Referrals in a Private Dermatology Clinic [MSc Thesis]. Dublin: Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland; 2020

Degree Name

MSc Physician Associate Studies

Date of award



  • MSc Physician Associate Studies