Access to timely care – and the right level of care – is a cornerstone of healthcare. Not only is a patients access to care critical – sometimes life or death, but the quality of care received throughout the patients length of stay is just as important. And patient care ties directly to satisfaction scores which is something all hospitals / health systems monitor. Add to those challenges – manual vs. automated processes, a change in payer mix, consolidations & labor shortages – which is why having a strategic plan in place becomes more important than ever.
I started my nursing career in 1986 and have had the opportunity to deliver patient care in various roles over the years—from Director of Specialized Clinical Services responsible transfer centers, patient flow activities, bariatric services and nursing leadership programs, to Chief Flight Nurse and Trauma Program Manager. In my role here at TeleTracking as the Vice President, Clinical Strategy, I now have the opportunity to use my clinical expertise to help our clients achieve positive outcomes. While I’ve held different positions throughout my career, what has remained consistent is my focus on making sure patients get the right care, in the right place, at the right time. And that’s where having a robust transfer / referral center comes into play. By centralizing operations across an enterprise, admission requests from other hospitals and local physicians can be coordinated—often times through a single phone call or web request.
Access. The definition is simple – the ability, right or permission to approach, enter, speak with, or use. However, things get much more complicated when the topic turns to a patients access to care – because in order to give one patient access to services, you must move another one out.
To help healthcare executives see the possibilities within their organizations, and how streamlining patient access and throughput via centralized command centers can help, we assembled a team of experts who were successful with implementations at their own facilities. The team included:
Patient Access: the single greatest imperative for healthcare.
Last month, I took part in a summit that attracted some of healthcare’s brightest executive leaders. At one point I had the good fortune of joining in on a roundtable discussion about patient access. While the direction of the conversation changed many times, a theme began to arise in my mind. The insight, both simple and yet profound, was that just about every leader at the table defined patient access from a very different lens and a very different world view. While we all believed patient access is a critical priority, how to define it and ultimately measure it remained a point of inconsistency.
Centralized Command Centers: The Most Effective Way to Improve Patient Access
Patients arrive at hospitals every day through different paths. Some through the Emergency Department, some through physician referrals, and some through scheduled procedures. What makes all of these situations similar is the fact that critically ill patients need access to care at the right place and the right time.
It’s time for a Patient Access Check-Up: 5 Strategies for 2016
As 2015 winds down, and plans for 2016 ramp up, one challenge that healthcare systems are faced with is providing effective, efficient access to care. That means making sure that all patients get the right care, from the right provider, in the right place, at the right time.
Caregivers know what symptoms to look for when a patient isn’t feeling well, but what are the symptoms that a health system should be aware of when they have a case of “patient access issues”?
Every day thousands of very sick Americans are turned away from the care they need – despite the fact that thousands of hospital beds lay empty. It is called “dead bed” syndrome and it occurs when hospitals that do not track bed availability in real time think they are out of room – when the situation is quite the contrary.
There is no way of knowing just how many bed-hours are wasted each day across the country. We do, however, know that this particular issue is the tip of a much bigger iceberg of waste, which contributes mightily to the dizzying upward spiral of healthcare costs. » Continue reading
“Patient Access” – two simple words that convey the obstacles that can affect a patients ability to get the right care, at the right time, with the right resources. While patient access is not as familiar a phrase as population health management, health system CEO’s and executive teams around the country are saying that improving access is critical to efficient health care operations according to a piece by the Advisory Board Company in March 2014.
To bring attention to the topic of improving patient access and overall throughput, Healthcare Informatics and TeleTracking partnered to present an Executive Exchange at the Nine Zero hotel today in Boston.
Health systems are facing major challenges – from limited revenue growth and capacity issues, to patient acquisition /retention problems and inefficient admission and transfer processes. The result – a fragmented approach to care in the community and a disjointed, and sometimes negative, patient experience.
Community physicians are aware of the challenges created by a fragmented system and the impact of those challenges on the quality of care. Specifically, they are concerned about losing visibility of their patients after they’re readmitted to the hospital and not being notified when their patients are discharged.
That’s why centralized referral management is garnering so much attention. And for good reason.