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Critical Care Nurses: Transfer Center ‘Point Guards’

Hoop DreamsIn honor of March Madness!

NURSES:  Point Guards in the Fight Against Hospital Diversions

There’s no question that automated hospital Transfer Centers are saving lives. What is often overlooked is the amount of revenue they generate, and the important role nurses are playing in evolving the Transfer Center.

Critical care nurses are the “point guards” in the most successful Transfer Centers around the country. In fact, a key “Best Practice” for implementing a successful transfer center operationcalls for critical care nurses to man the Transfer Center on a 24/7 basis because they are so adept at making fast, smart decisions regarding patient care.

But that’s not the only contribution of critical care nurses in transfer center success.  A lot of the leg work for developing these centralized, automated Transfer Centers was done by nurses who understood the short-comings of the traditional, siloed, manual environment. They helped re-design a process that used to turn patients away because it was unable to tap the resources it already had.

At TeleTracking, our Avanti patient flow consulting specialists, all former nurses, know from experience that the problem wasn’t just in the referral center, but in the rest of the hospital as well. By automating the hospital’s physical operations, the staff manning the transfer center can know in real time what the true bed status. This automation not only shows true bed status, but also assures that more beds are available, that the units are adequately staffed, and that clean, working mobile medical devices are always accessible.

A centralized Transfer Center with a coordinated admissions function, connected to an automated hospital operations platform, can all but guarantee that no enterprise resources are overlooked, displaced or left unengaged.

The entire enterprise can be managed in real-time from a centralized command center, informed moment-to-moment through a data stream feed from the point of care. This new turn in hospital operations is called Real-Time Capacity Management™ – and it marries enterprise throughput / bed management with a real-time locating system to optimize, visualize and communicate available or upcoming capacity in real-time, to everyone that impacts patient placement decisions.

When you consider the kinds of complex cases usually requiring transfer, you can begin to see how the “point guard” nurses of the transfer center not only are making a bigger contribution to the hospital’s mission, but to its margin as well.  At TeleTracking, we’ve helped hospitals increase transfer center growth as much as 300 %.

Consider that the average cardiology patient delivers $8,674 in contribution to margin. One a month would mean $104,088 to the bottom line in a year.

Here’s another quick calculation of transfer center growth to ponder:

Enterprise Target Avg. Net Contribution Margin/Case Hospital Margin Impact
Add 50 patients/month $5,000 $250K/month
$3MM / annually

What are your metrics around transfer center acceptance rates, and how would maximizing these opportunities affect your hospital enterprise – from impacts to physician relations, to increasing life saving care access and ultimately, to improving your net margin?

Categories: Author: Dennis Morabito, Bed Management, Patient Flow, Transfer / Referral Center