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” – 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.
Two weeks ago, in the middle of another Chicago snowstorm, a surprise phone call reminded me that patient safety is more than a checklist.
A college friend said her dad was on a ventilator in a community hospital 100 miles away. He feared he would die unless he was transferred to a Chicago hospital and the family had no idea how to do that. » Continue reading
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.