Project Examples

Learn more about our work.

While improving value for patients is a relatively recent initiative at UCLA, our team has already achieved some notable successes. In each case, we tailored our approach to the particular needs of a group of patients and those providing their care.

Published Research:

Examples of our projects include:

UCLA Brain Tumor Center

We helped create a new model for better coordination of brain tumor care, largely based on patient feedback.

Patients with brain tumors see a range of specialists, and we realized they felt frustrated by a lack of coordination among various disciplines and departments. Patients were left to figure out on their own who to see and when, and what should come next.


brain tumor group

We worked with project sponsors to create the UCLA Brain Tumor Center, embracing the move toward integrated practice units (IPUs). Our virtual center allows various specialties to operate as one coordinated group. Specifically, we:

  • Oversaw the redesign of care for patients with glioblastoma, meningioma and metastatic cancer (learn more about redesigning care pathways)
  • Drafted a plan to implement the changes, working with sponsors who provide care and manage services
  • Ensured that patients were receiving the highest quality care at the appropriate cost (initial phases of brain tumor care represent some of the highest costs for all cancers)
  • Helped set quality, satisfaction and cost outcomes for tracking at 90 days, six months and one year after implementation

If you are affiliated with UCLA Health and have an AD login, 2 of the pathways created for this project can be accessed by clicking on the following links.

Expected results
We believe that the creation of the Brain Tumor Center will mean:

  • Better-coordinated care for patients
  • Higher patient satisfaction
  • Higher provider satisfaction
  • Better outcomes, due to the spread of best practices
  • Lower total cost of care, thanks to the elimination of redundancies and inefficiencies

Bladder Cancer

When hospitalized patients complained of disrupted sleep while recovering from bladder cancer surgery, we offered our help to the medical team.

Nurses must check on anyone spending the night while recovering from bladder cancer surgery. But patients reported dissatisfaction with the number of interruptions. Staff also wondered how they could reduce complications and help patients go home earlier.


bladder ca

Our team partnered with doctors and nurses to better coordinate nighttime care. We also worked on improving patient outcomes and removing barriers to early discharges. Specifically, we helped:

  • Minimize overnight patient disruptions, with staff deciding which services were necessary and which were not. The key services were delivered in one coordinated bundle, named Rest and Recovery.
  • Develop and implement rounds after surgery that brought together multiple disciplines. These rounds helped improve outcomes and pinpointed what stood in the way of appropriate early discharges.
  • Draft and execute a plan to implement the changes
  • Set quality, patient satisfaction and cost outcomes for tracking at 90 days, six months and one year after implementation

Expected results
We expect that our interventions will lead to:

  • Fewer interruptions during quiet hours
  • Higher patient satisfaction
  • Shorter hospital stays and lower associated costs

Pediatric Epilepsy

Back-to-back sedations of young patients with epilepsy prompted a look at how we scheduled imaging tests.

Pediatric epilepsy patients coming in for surgery usually need both MRI and PET scans, and the youngest often require sedation to stay still. But limits with our scheduling system often led to scans being scheduled on back-to-back days, which meant repeated sedations and longer stays.   

We sized up the existing situation. We saw that patients were often waiting for hospital admission before securing a spot on the imaging schedule, then getting bumped for emergencies and other cases. We also identified why staff could not schedule scans well before admission, despite knowing patients’ arrival dates months in advance.

Our achievements in redesigning care for pediatric epilepsy patients included:

  • Working with schedulers from radiology and neurology to better coordinate scans, thereby limiting wait times and avoiding double sedations
  • Partnering with administrators, managers and clinicians such as doctors and nurses to create and execute a plan to implement changes
  • Overseeing the creation of an electronic order set and scheduling system for patients, using UCLA’s CareConnect electronic medical record (EMR)
  • Setting quality, patient satisfaction and cost outcomes for tracking at 90 days, 6 months and 1 year after implementation

Expected results
With our work, we expect to see:

  • Shorter waits for patients
  • Fewer sedations for each patient
  • Higher patient satisfaction
  • Best practices followed more often (i.e., conducting tests in optimal order)
  • Shorter hospital stays