Teaching Resources Library

Operations Management

Health Care

Massachusetts General Hospital's Pre-Admission Testing Area (PATA)



The Pre-Admission Testing Area (PATA) is an outpatient clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital responsible for conducting preoperative assessments of surgical patients prior to their procedures. Set in June 2009, this case study describes the conditions of this busy outpatient clinic prior to a process improvement effort by a collaborative team of MIT Sloan students and faculty and MGH clinicians and administrative staff. It also examines the complete PATA experience from both the patient and provider perspective. The importance of improving PATA is emphasized through a description of how this relatively small clinic has a very large downstream effect on the MGH operating rooms and the entire perioperative care system.

Learning Objectives

To expose students to concrete operational challenges in healthcare delivery; and illustrate both the application and the potential benefits of quantitative process analysis and process reengineering in this environment.

Appropriate for the Following Course(s)

operations management, healthcare operations

Massachusetts General Hospital's Pre-Admission Testing Area (PATA)

Educator Copy*

*An educator (non-watermarked) copy of this case is available only to individuals who hold teaching positions at academic institutions and want to use the case in a course.