One of the biggest challenges facing health systems today is finding ways to free up capacity and increase access to acute care beds. And one of the obstacles is the time-consuming, inefficient process of finding the right post-acute beds for patients that need the next step in their recovery. [Modern Healthcare: Managing post-acute care in the 21st century]
There is a solution! TeleTracking’s Community Placement solution gives case managers and discharge planners real-time visibility to the most appropriate, available beds in post-acute facilities.
A large Pennsylvania-based health system with multiple acute care and post-acute care facilities has been piloting this solution over the past year, and several members of their team shared their experiences during a recent webinar.
Below is a recap of the Q&A:
Q: Why was the coordination of patient transitions to post-acute facilities important to your system?
A: The bottom line was that we needed to improve visibility. By not knowing what beds were available, we would often have referrals to more than one facility. We were also looking for ways to expedite the decompression of our acute care areas, improve patient and family satisfaction, increase referrals, increase the ability to predict and prepare for patients and deliver quality care with repeatable processes and clear communications.
Q: In the last 12 months (post-deployment), please share the impact to your health system.
A: With TeleTracking’s Community Placement solution, we can see what beds are available in real time. It has significantly cut down on the number of phone calls, provides reporting that makes it possible to determine commonalities in transfers and admissions, and break down transportation needs. It also puts rigor around communication with post-acute facilities.
We receive our referrals through our EMR and the time to respond has improved due to the fact that we see all of the beds. The solution doesn’t replace the referral system, it enhances it. For example, we can see exactly when a bed changes from dirty to clean or when medical transport has arrived to pick up the patient.
Q: Has there been a direct impact on patient/family satisfaction?
A: Our patient surveys have shown improvement since the transition. People aren’t waiting as long and that is reflected in our results.
Q: What is the benefit to post-acute sites?
A: Post-acute sites now have an indication of the type of patients that they are receiving. For example, they know in advance if that person has had a stroke, is blind or a fall risk.
Q: How does the Community Placement solution help with the timing of admissions?
A: It allows us to identify lost bed time. Most admissions to the post-acute space occur later in the day due to factors like transportation. Since we accept admissions 24/7, we like to see them occur earlier in the day when possible. This has also given us the insight to know when to flip staffing and add additional people later in the day to accommodate needs, including adding an admission nurse.
Q: Can this solution be used for facilities you contract with but don’t own?
A: Yes. Hospitals often cast a wide net when looking to place a patient. While it’s certainly a great fit when you own the facilities, it works just as well with preferred vendors that you have strategic partnerships with. Frequently hospitals are recommending facilities based on established clinical pathways which are proven to decrease readmissions and ultimately improve the patients overall experience.
Quite simply, TeleTracking’s Community Placement solution helps reduce a major barrier to timely care—for patients moving to post-acute and those waiting for an acute bed. It provides benefits to patients—who may be quite ill—by reducing the amount of time it takes to be moved to a post-acute facility and making what can be a stressful, frustrating situation more streamlined, transparent and predictable. The result is increased patient and family satisfaction, and over time, improved patient retention.