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Published by:
MIT Sloan's LearningEdge (2012)
3 January 2012
Revision date:
24 pages
Data source:
Field research
This item is part of a free case collection. For terms & conditions go to


The Pre-Admissions Testing Area (PATA) is an outpatient clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital responsible for conducting pre-operative assessments of surgical patients prior to their procedures. 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. The case describes 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 (ORs) and the entire perioperative care system. The learning objective is to expose students to concrete operational challenges in health care delivery, and illustrate both the application and the potential benefits of quantitative process analysis and process reengineering in this environment. Could be taught in operations management and healthcare operations courses. This case is part of the MIT Sloan free case collection (visit for more information on the collection).

Teaching and learning

This item is suitable for postgraduate and executive education courses.


Health care delivery; Operational challenges; Capacity analysis; Operations management; Service operations


The events covered by this item took place in 2009.

Geographical setting

United States
Massachusetts; Boston

Featured company

Company name:
Massachusetts General Hospital

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Awards, prizes & competitions

2012 - ecch Case Awards - case writing competition new case writer category winner

Reviews & usage