All posts by Amie Podolak

Can Real-Time Capacity Management Save Hospitals?

Real TimeCan real-time – as in real-time capacity management – save hospitals time and resources?

It was disappointing to learn the other day that the dream of time travel was dashed with the turn of a single screwdriver.  (SeeFaster than light neutrinos may have just been disproven.)

It turns out that reports of neutrinos moving faster than light speed were the result of a loose cable between a GPS receiver and a computer at the famous CERN laboratory in Switzerland -[ScienceInsider].  Earlier reports that neutrinos were recorded moving 60 nanoseconds faster than light speed prompted physicists to speculate that neutrinos could be sent back in time.

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Categories: Author: Dennis Morabito, Real-Time Capacity Management, Real-Time Locating System (RTLS)

AHA Solutions Patient Flow Challenges Report: Worth Reading!

Bed ManagementAHA Solutions Patient Flow Challenges Report: The discharge process, bed management, patient flow and tracking systems

If you haven’t already read the AHA Solutions Patient Flow Challenges report, I encourage you to do so!

[Note: link takes you to AHA page where you can download an executive summary, replay a webinar and request a copy of the report.]

This report puts a spotlight on one of the biggest operational challenges in healthcare –patient flow – as cited by you, the professionals tasked with running the nation’s hospitals.

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Categories: Bed Management, Overcrowding, Patient Flow

The “Catch-22” of EMRs

Catch 22 EMRsJoseph Heller’s darkly hilarious wartime novel, “Catch-22,” skewered military bureaucracy through the eyes of a bombardier who couldn’t make his mission quota and go home because the quota kept getting higher.

Catch-22 is now part of the lexicon. It’s defined as a “condition or regulation which prevents the resolution of a problem.”

That describes the situation for many hospitals regarding Electronic Medical Records. To get a piece of the $20 plus billion dollar government incentive pie for adopting EMRs, the hospitals must meet an array of measurements proving that they are using this IT in a meaningful way.

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Categories: EMR / Healthcare IT, Real-Time Capacity Management

Hallway Boarding: An Unnecessary Ethical Dilemma Faced by Hospitals

Hallway BoardingHallway Boarding’ is a quaint euphemism for parking sick people in hallways until their room is ready.

It used to be done in Emergency Departments when no in-patient beds were available. Now some facilities are “admitting” ED patients to the hallways of inpatient units.

In pain, under stress, wearing gowns open at the rear with a port-a-potty for a bathroom, these patients are the victims of turf wars caused by hospital overcrowding.

The hospitals say they want to relieve pressure in the ED so patients needing urgent care can be treated. But they also admit they want to bring the overcrowding problem to inpatient units. They reason that the patient’s presence forces nurses and others to perform more timely discharges, bed turnovers and admissions.

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Categories: Overcrowding, Patient Flow

The Hospital Efficiency Imperative: Free New Orleans Symposium!

NOLA SymposiumFree in NOLA: “The Hospital Efficiency Imperative”

The words “free” and “New Orleans” seldom appear in the same sentence, but here’s one time that they do.

TeleTracking is offering a “free” symposium this month in “NOLA” on managing the hospital enterprise in real-time. It’s billed as “The Hospital Efficiency Imperative,” and rightly so, because we are now previewing in the U.S. Supreme Court what will inevitably happen to hospitals if they don’t decide for themselves how to become more efficient.

Registration is open for the conference being held April 19 & 20 at the Astor Crowne Plaza.  The conference will cover trends and solutions in patient throughput and overcrowding, asset management and inter-hospital patient transfers.

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Categories: Real-Time Capacity Management

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.

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

Clinical vs. Operational Platforms: Taking the Bull By the Horns

Clinical vs. Operational PlatformsSo, we thought we’d jump in with both feet and take on thechallenge of clinical (EMRs) vs. operational (capacity, optimization, throughput) platforms.

While the adoption of electronic health records has been good for healthcare, it has also created many additional stresses on already burdened caregivers.   A chaotic environment remains on the operational side of hospitals because of deep vendor and solution fragmentation with little to no integration.

A lot of bull has been slung around – plus around $20 billion in cold, hard cash – concerning the impact of Electronic Medical Records on healthcare.

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Categories: Operational Efficiency, Real-Time Capacity Management

The Capacity Blues: A Capacity Management Sing Along!

Capacity ManagementThe Capacity Blues – A Sing Along!

This is fun, fun, fun! We’re getting ready for an upcomingTeleTracking Patient Flow Symposium in New Orleans.

In honor of the venue, Sal Sanzo, one of our employees (who happens to be a talented actor, singer, musician in addition to being a Regional Director at TeleTracking RTLS) wrote and performed the attached – entitled The Capacity Blues.

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Categories: Real-Time Capacity Management

Hospital Fiscal Responsibility in Mission Statements: Does It Belong?

HealthLeaders MagazineA Sample of Hospital Mission Statements –Does Fiscal Responsibility Belong?

As a follow up to our No Margin, No Mission post, I thought I’d explore
 hospital mission statements to investigate how they balance margin and mission. I expected (and found) most led with a commitment to providing excellent physical, emotional and spiritual care, but was surprised to identify that many go on to make mention of “responsible use of resources” in some way.  Certainly, mission and margin are top of mind in many hospitals across the country.

Consider these interesting examples:

… mission is to provide quality health services for the community …  consistent with the best service we can give at the highest value for all concerned.

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Categories: Author: Michael Gallup, No Margin, No Mission, Overcrowding, Patient Flow

No Margin, No Mission: Flying Nuns and Sister Irene Kraus

Flying NunFlying Nuns Defined Mission; Sister Irene Defined Margin.

They wore winged habits that were the inspiration for the TV series “The Flying Nun”. They were known as the Daughters of Charity.  Founded in 1633, their mission was to care for the sick, aged, infirm and poor.  For more than four centuries, their mission remained essentially the same.  Then a spirited American girl came along to add something new.

It was called “Margin.”

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Categories: No Margin, No Mission