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Conversations about Optimizing Hospital Operations

Nation’s Overcrowded EDs: Biggest Challenge for Hospitals, Study Says

Emergency DepartmentThe current overcrowded status of the nation’s EDs is the biggest challenge claim respondents to a survey conducted recently by HealthLeaders Media (see Best EDs Focus on Flow.)

Nearly half identified overcrowded EDs as the No. 1 challenge, and more than half say overcrowding in the ED will jeopardize patient safety.

Forty six percent said overcrowding exists in their hospitals and almost 100 percent say they’ve been taking action to alleviate the problem. Just 25 percent were expanding their EDs.

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Categories: Real-Time Capacity Management

How Nurses Can Impact Length of Stay

Length of StayLength Of Stay is an odd reimbursement metric.

It basically ignores the fact that each individual presumably heals at a different rate, and instead relies on the law of averages.

With reimbursement regulations like LOS due to stiffen, hospitals are scrambling to find better ways to comply. One way is to look at the many activities surrounding healing to determine if they can be done in less time.

Maria Romano knows a lot about time. For the past seven years she was the Patient Logistics Operational Manager at St. Peter’s Health Care Services in Albany, NY.

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Categories: Author: Dennis Morabito, Real-Time Capacity Management

Was Your Hospital Software “Installed” or “Implemented”?

Installed vs. ImplementedIt may seem like semantics, but if you think “installed” and “implemented” hospital software are essentially the same, you could be heading for disaster.

Understanding their correct definitions can save you a lot of headaches – with your hospital software vendor as well as your boss.

There are many ways to describe the difference, but the simplest is this:

  • Installation gets the item working.
  • Implementation gets it working for your hospital’s needs.

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Categories: Hospital Software Implementation

Leading Hospitals Use TeleTracking to Manage Capacity. Do You?

Best Hospitals Use TeleTrackingMost Leading Hospitals use TeleTracking’s Capacity Management software to improve operations and streamline throughput. Do you?

They say you’re judged by the company you keep.

By that standard, TeleTracking ranks with the very best…literally.

Most leading U.S. hospitals have now deployed TeleTracking’s capacity management solutions, according to a recent review of “Best” and “Top” hospital lists.

That includes over 80% of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals“, 13 of 17 (76%) “Honor Roll” hospitals, and seven of the top 10 honorees.

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Categories: Author: Michael Gallup, Real-Time Capacity Management

In Hospitals: Size doesn’t matter. Capacity Management does!

Size Does MatterDoes size really matter?

As it relates to hospitals, the answer to that age-old question is no. Because no matter how large or small the hospital, it will be plagued with capacity problems unless that capacity is managed actively and correctly.

This is particularly pertinent today as the healthcare industry and the Nation await a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act. 

While the federal government demands the removal of more “waste” from the nation’s health care system, the industry is responding with the biggest building boom since World War II. The most common reason given is the aging of the Baby Boom generation, and depending upon the High Court verdict, the possibility of 30-40 million newly insured Americans seeking more medical aid. 

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Categories: Author: Michael Gallup, Real-Time Capacity Management

“Patient safety and quality – are hospitals doing all they can?”

Hospital Patient SafetyIt has been well over a decade since the landmark report To Err Is Human was released by the Institute of Medicine. That study said preventable medical errors caused up to 98,000 deaths each year. Those findings established medical error as one of the leading cause of death in the United States.

The study rocked the medical community because until then, hospital leaders believed some errors and infection were inevitable. We all accept that “accidents do happen.” But most of us acknowledge that many are preventable.  Apparently that’s not the case with all hospitals.

A controversial report released the other day by the Leapfrog Groupnoted that even now about 400 people die every day – the equivalent of one large jetliner crashing and killing all aboard– because of hospital errors.

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Categories: Patient Safety, Real-Time Capacity Management

Fighting Hospital Acquired Infections Through Social Media

Hospital Acquired InfectionsBlogger William Heisel at Antidote wants to give credit where credit is due regarding the fight against hospital-associated infection (HAI).

So he has expanded his “Immunity Map” to include hospitals which have been innovative in their efforts to curb the spread of superbugs.

Previously, the map’s sole purpose was to track infections as they are reported, based on certain criteria aimed at protecting the public. Now Heisel has taken the suggestion of readers to include institutions which have either responded to infection problems exceedingly well, or those which have come up with innovative ways to fight infection spread.

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Categories: Hospital Infection Control

Hospital Infection Control: Surprising Facts About How Germs Get Around

Hospital Infection ControlNew Study: Your office desk has 400 times the germs as an average toilet seat.  Imagine what hospital wheelchairs can carry…

A new Kimberly Clark study says the typical office desk has 400 times more germs than the average toilet seat. The study said employees pick up germs in their break rooms and spread them to their workspace. Sink faucets, microwave door handles and refrigerator handles were named the biggest culprits in the company’s Healthy Workplace Project study.

Now imagine what it must be like in a hospital, whose reason for being, in large part, is to provide a temporary home for germs until they can be eradicated by modern medicine.  If office desktops and keyboards pose a threat, then what about shared items in the hospital environment where the germs are vicious killers?  How about a wheelchair that just transferred a patient with C.diff or MRSA, or the room just vacated by that patient?

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Categories: Hospital Infection Control