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Conversations about Optimizing Hospital Operations

The Concept of ‘Time’ – now an Area of Focus in Healthcare

Emergency DepartmentMore than a decade ago, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a report called, Crossing the Quality Chasm, which identified six fundamental aims for healthcare – that it be safe, effective, patient-centered, efficient, equitable and timely.  While the first five objectives are easily understandable and have been studied extensively – the concept of time has only recently become an area of focus.  And yet the implications of time are significant because it impacts a patient’s experience if they are waiting in the ED for a bed; it impacts hospital operations if rooms and equipment aren’t accessible or staff members are being over or under-utilized; and it impacts the ability to use data to react to operational trends.

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Categories: Waste in Healthcare

Managing Hospital Bed Turnover Just Got Easier

HousekeeperAutomating and managing hospital bed turns just got easier with the integration of TeleTracking and Smart Facility Software’s environmental services (EVS) solutions.

If you’re attending the Association for the Healthcare Environment (AHE) annual conference next week in Grapevine, TX, be sure to visit TeleTracking booth #723 to learn more about the improvements to its solutions.

It’s been almost 25 years since TeleTracking first took on – and revolutionized – hospital bed turnover with its BedTracking® application.  Now known as the gold standard for automated bed turnover solutions, TeleTracking has expanded its scope and has been the leader of patient flow automation solutions for the healthcare industry serving more than 900 hospitals throughout the U.S., Canada and U.K.

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Categories: Author: Tom Perry, Patient Flow

When & How Hospital Beds are Being Used

Empty Hospital BedIt’s estimated that half of all US hospitals don’t know when or how their hospital beds are being used.  And, at a time when hospitals are being asked to do more with less, valuable inventory, such as patient beds, are often being wasted due to lack of visibility.  This lack of visibility often leads to perceived capacity constraints and can directly impact patient access.  As a result, hospitals may opt to construct new patient towers or wings – costing upwards of $1 million per bed.

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Categories: Author: Kris Kaneta, Patient Flow

Hospital CFOs Focus – Integration, Efficiency, Outcomes

Like healthcare in general, the role of a health system CFO continues to evolve.  Previously responsible solely for an organization’s financial oversight, CFOs now take on strategy, operations and information technology.  This expansion is essential; as payment models move from fee-for-service to value based care, a CFOs role in data management and maximizing productivity  becomes critical.

A few weeks ago, TeleTracking had the opportunity to meet with CFOs from many of the nation’s leading healthcare systems at HealthLeaders Media Chief Financial Officer Exchange.  The Exchange gives partner organizations and CFOs the opportunity to share ideas on the significant changes occurring in healthcare.  So what are some of the things that are on the minds of today’s CFOs?

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Categories: Financial Health of Hospitals, Operational Efficiency

Ambulatory Care – The New Frontier of Quality & Safety

TeleTracking_OutpatientTeleTracking’s three-part Joint Commission webinar series, presented by Ann Scott Blouin, the Commission’s executive vice president, customer relations, wrapped up with the topic, “An Emerging Arena for Quality & Safety Issues: The Growth of Ambulatory Care”, featuring information from The Joint Commission’s perspective and experience, along with ambulatory industry knowledge.

Download the webinar recording and slide deck.

Geographically diverse. Different reporting structures. The topic of ambulatory care, and the quality and safety implications, is particularly relevant as more and more work is done outside the four walls of a traditional hospital. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that the number of visits to physician offices, hospital outpatient facilities and emergency departments totals 1.2 billion1. Today, the Ambulatory Health Care program at The Joint Commission accredits over 2,1002 organizations in a variety of settings.

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Categories: Author: Nanne Finis, Outpatient Care, Patient Flow, The Joint Commission

One Team…Unlimited Success

TeleTracking_Client SuccessWhen the right people, processes and technologies come together, we know that’s a combination for delivering great results.  The question then is how do we harness that positive energy to overcome the challenges that stand in the way of operational excellence, system-wide optimization and return on investment?

It’s pretty simple—success is not a check box on a task list—it’s more of a continuous improvement process.  And, in order to have success along that road of improvement, it’s essential to have a strong team. Fortunately, TeleTracking has that part covered with its Client Success Management (CSM) team.

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Categories: Author: Tammy Moore

The Value of Time

Eliminating healthcare wasteTime – no one ever seems to have enough of it.  And nowhere is that more true than in healthcare, where the pace is hectic, the atmosphere is chaotic and wasted time has implications.  Implications that range from emergency department overcrowding and anxious patients waiting in hallways for beds, operating rooms  not being maximized, patients being turned away because there’s no capacity, etc.

Yet with healthcare, unlike in other industries, time has never been part of the waste discussion.  In healthcare, waste is excessive administrative costs, unnecessary services, inefficient care delivery, inflated prices, fraud and  prevention failures.

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Categories: Waste in Healthcare

Lean Strategies in Healthcare

Bill Griffith, CSSBB, CQA, is executive director of operational excellence, Health First, Rockledge, Fla.
Bill Griffith, CSSBB, CQA, is executive director of operational excellence, Health First, Rockledge, Fla.

Health First’s Lean strategies focus on meeting financial goals while also addressing new quality guidelines established by the Affordable Care Act.

This blog first appeared in hfma’s leadership blog on July 28, 2015.

What processes or outcomes is your department, organization, or team trying to improve?
Health First is using Lean methods to improve efficiencies in various departments. The integrated delivery network, headquartered in Rockledge, Fla., has four hospitals, a large multi-specialty medical group, outpatient and wellness services, and health insurance plans.

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Categories: Healthcare Operations Management, Operational Efficiency

Patient Discharges – a Stumbling Block to Patient Access

TeleTracking_Patient AccessThe biggest obstacle to hospital access may be the back door.

People who work in hospitals know that the discharge process can be a stumbling block to patient access because it takes time and a lot of staff / patient interaction.  The impact though goes far beyond getting a patient discharged.

Often it takes hours for word to get around that a bed is vacant and is available for a patient who is probably waiting in the emergency room.  That’s because that information typically comes from the hospitals Admission Discharge Transfer (ADT) system, which is not real time.

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Categories: Author: Jon Poshywak, Patient Access, Real-Time Locating System (RTLS)

From Patient Flow to Real-Time Operational Management

TeleTracking_Patient FlowWhen TeleTracking was founded in 1991, patient flow automation wasn’t a concept.

The notion that patient movement had a rhythm and pattern had not occurred, automation was something done in factories, and overcrowding was a problem for urban emergency rooms on a Friday night.

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Categories: Author: Kris Kaneta, Patient Flow