How many times have we seen patient flow projects that center around “out by 11am” or “home by noon”? It’s often suggested, “Can’t we put a sign in the room that says discharge is 11am?” It’s true, we need to create capacity early in the day to reduce wait times for early ED (emergency department) arrivals and early PACU (post-anesthesia care unit) patients, but at what cost? Is there really a need to get as many patientsas possible out as early as possible, or is finding balance and staggering discharge times just as effective? There’s a key factor to consider before putting pressure on precious hospital resources to discharge early – Queuing Theory and the Utilization Curve.
Today’s reality―an aging population with increasing healthcare needs, highly complex inpatient cases, and sharply rising costs combined with shrinking reimbursement, are challenging hospitals to optimize internal operations and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of care. Additionally, emergency department (ED) overcrowding that results from delays in getting patients placed in a bed can also result in ambulance diversions―all of which negatively impact the quality and safety of patient care. Not to mention the fact that hospitals risk losing revenue from inefficient processes.
The final day of TeleCon17 was dedicated to showcasing customer success stories. Sessions were held in casual, roundtable formats that facilitated engagement and great conversations between the presenters and attendees. Session presenters and topics included:
BayCare Health System: Centralizing Patient Transport, Fine Tuning Dispatch Logic and Sharing Best Practices across an Enterprise
NYU Winthrop: Demonstrating Compliance w/ Joint Commission’s Patient Flow Standard utilizing TeleTracking Data
Palmetto Health: Interdisciplinary Patient Centered Care Rounding and Optimization through TeleTracking Advisory Services
Providence Regional Medical Center Everett: President’s Award for Strategic Innovation – The Services Operations Center
John Health System: Utilizing LTACs to Reduce Average Length of Stay
University Hospitals: Journey with Advisory Services around Strategic Planning, Discharge Readiness and Precision Patient Placement
UPMC: Managing Data throughout an Enterprise
Sharp HealthCare: Centralizing Patient Placement
McLeod Health: Redefining the Discharge Process
Oklahoma University Med. Ctr. & UCHealth: Launching a Transfer Center
Providence Regional Medical Center: Building an Operational Command Center
Sarasota Memorial Hospital: Extending into Procedural & Diagnostic Areas
University of Alabama Medicine: Using Data to Enhance Patient Flow & Drive Change
Stamford Health: Enabling Technologies to Automate Workflow Processes
Hurricane’s Harvey, Irma and Maria; a 7.1 earthquake in Mexico City; and wildfires from Montana to Southern California – September 2017 has been marked by this series natural disasters, but also by amazing stories of survival, heroic acts, and resilience. Readiness and preparedness activities were tested. Disaster plans were stretched beyond imagination. And human spirits were pushed farther than ever thought possible.
The lessons learned from these types of situations translate to healthcare.
As I prepare to take off from New York City, our national memorial from 9/11, I am struck by the changes that we have seen in our lives since 2001. We have experienced terror, we know of those who are afraid to fly, we have anxiety for the safety of our family and friends because of terrorist threats and attacks, and I am personally very concerned about the future of our healthcare systems.
We lost Duke Life Flight colleagues a few weeks ago in a helicopter crash while transporting a patient to the hospital. I am in awe of health care professionals who risk their lives daily to place their patients in the right hospital, with the right specialty services, with the right physician, and the right level of care… immediately.
A hospital stay can be difficult for both the patient and their family. And when the next step involves moving beyond the four walls of the hospital to a post-acute facility, the placement can be both time consuming and stressful—even if the patient is staying within the health system.
From the patient’s perspective, they may still be quite ill and want to transition easily to the next step in their treatment plan. From the health system perspective, they also want to help the patient who is ready to leave—and consequently open up that acute care bed for the next patient that needs it.
Katie Romano, TeleTracking’s new Head of Customer Experience, shares her thoughts on what customers can expect at the one and only patient flow conference of the year – TeleCon17. And if you missed her recent podcast, be sure to listen by clicking here.
Access to our experts.
We’re dedicating time for you to be with the best of the best in our advanced workshops. They’ll be available to advise on how you, personally, can move forward on your patient flow journey. This is hands-on time – you’re encouraged to come with your data, challenges & objectives, and we’ll help you create an action plan. Who are these experts, you ask? Take a look at TeleTracking’s Experts in the Field! » Continue reading
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, in Hershey, PA is a leading provider of specialized medical care in central Pennsylvania, and is the only hospital with dual adult and pediatric Level 1 trauma accreditation in the state. Before making patient flow a priority in 2012, Hershey was at critical capacity for years. As the volume of patients increased, it became more challenging to move patients through the system in order to accept new patients—especially those coming in as transfers. In addition, the system was decentralized—while calls were coming into one number, it took a series of steps to accept the patient and get them to the right place for the right care.
As you may have seen in the news, there has been a massive cyber attack on hospitals in (at the time of this notice) 74 countries, including 17 NHS facilities (UK). This cyber attack involves ransomware and is demanding $300 Bitcoin to be paid. This attack exploits vulnerabilities when the latest security OS patches have not been applied according to recommended protocols.
Last Sunday, thousands of runners took to the streets of Pittsburgh for the annual marathon. I volunteered to provide medical support and was assigned to the Finish Line Medical Tent. This was a large event, with a stream of people coming through with issues of varying severity. On my way home, I thought about how the lessons learned at the medical tent applied to patient flow.