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.
The biggest obstacle to hospital access may be the back door.
People who work in hospitals know that the discharge process can be a stumbling block to patient access because it takes time and a lot of staff / patient interaction. The impact though goes far beyond getting a patient discharged.
Often it takes hours for word to get around that a bed is vacant and is available for a patient who is probably waiting in the emergency room. That’s because that information typically comes from the hospitals Admission Discharge Transfer (ADT) system, which is not real time.