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Conversations about Optimizing Hospital Operations

Graphically Representing the Hospital Patient Throughput Continuum

Continuum of CareToday’s post is a graphical representation of my view of the patient throughput continuum and the factors that impact hospital resource use and allocation. I title it “Factors for Efficiency in Hospital Resource Use and Allocation.

The top line call out boxes show demand and capacity indicators while the bottom shows the mechanisms that impact these goals.

More specifically, hospital resource demand indicators include factors such as:

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Categories: Patient Flow, Real-Time Locating System (RTLS)

Workflow Improvement in Healthcare To Survive Reform

Blanton GodfreyWorkflow improvement is key to surviving health care reform
–Blanton Godfrey

International productivity expert Blanton Godfrey predicts health reform will produce a lot of “big winners and big losers” among the nation’s 5,000-plus hospitals.

Godfrey, who co-founded the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, recommends hospitals take a page from industry and concentrate on workflow improvement in order to be in the winner’s circle.

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Categories: Author: Dennis Morabito, Real-Time Capacity Management

Don’t Buy an RTLS System Before You Read This!

RTLS MattersRTLS (Real Time Location Systems) has evolved into a significant enabler of end-to-end hospital logistics platform called Real-Time Capacity Management.

This platform allows hospital decision-makers to manage functional operations in real-time across the entire enterprise. As a result, it creates better utilization of people, space and other resources, which in turn accrues to the bottom line. » Continue reading

Categories: Real-Time Locating System (RTLS)

The Healthcare Checklist: A Simple List That Saves Lives

Healthcare ChecklistWarren Buffet doesn’t make an investment without one. Pilots don’t take a plane up without one. Yet many people are very reluctant to use the simple tool know as the checklist. Especially, it seems, in healthcare.

The checklist was developed by the U.S. Air Force decades ago to help pilots deal with the increasing complexities of aircraft. It began as a simple pre-flight walk around the plane and instrument check, a routine that private pilots do to this day. [See Checklist mentality… it’s a good thing from the Air Force Safety Center.]

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Categories: Patient Safety

A Patient Flow Checklist for Nurses

Patient Flow ChecklistNurses can’t control the number of beds in their hospital or the number of patients seeking access on any given day. But they can do a number of things to improve bed availability and reduce length of stay. Here’s our patient flow checklist for nurses.

Advocate for proper patient placement including participation in multi-disciplinary rounds to understand patient needs and contribute vital patient assessment information.

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Categories: Author: Dennis Morabito, Overcrowding, Patient Flow

The Nurse as “Knowledge Worker” with Mobile Access for Patient Care

Mobile Access for NursesNearly three-quarters of nurses use smart phones on the job, according to a recent study by healthcare publisher Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

The same study found that 66 percent of nursing students use smart phones in nursing school.

Recognizing the mobile trend early, TeleTracking has been offering hand-held PDAs for years so nurses can access its patient flow software from anywhere in the hospital. Now we offer apps for other mobile appliances.

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Categories: Author: Dennis Morabito, Future of Healthcare, Patient Flow

TeleTracking Salutes Super Nurse Jaclyn Hunter

Jaclyn Hunter, RNFaster than a speeding bullet” certainly fits. So does “more powerful than a locomotive.”

But even Super Nurse Jaclyn Hunter can’t leap tall buildings in a single bound. She still has to take the elevator. 

Jaclyn was the first nurse to send us a photo of her wearing one of our Super RN T-Shirts, which were given away in honor of Nurses Week. And Jaclyn certainly qualifies as a Super RN. She’s a performance improvement nurse, which means that she works to ensure that quality and safe patient care is provided to every patient at Sierra Vista Regional Health Center in rural Arizona. 

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Categories: Patient Flow

EMRs: Taking the Slow Lane to Progress on ROI

EMRs:  Taking the slow laneWhile the cost of digitizing the “patient experience,” medical records and all, is soaring, no one seems to be asking about the ROI.

The question is: Why not?

Duke University Health System will spend $700 million over seven years to build out its digital backbone, according to the Duke Chronicle. Yale medical group will spend $250 million to switch to a large EMR vendor next year, the Yale Daily News says.

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Categories: EMR / Healthcare IT, Financial Health of Hospitals

Healthcare IT Vendors: Make the Hospital’s Mission Your Mission!

Cost, Quality, AccessHealthcare has been compared to a three-legged stool. One of the legs is “Cost.” Another is “Quality.” The third is “Access.”

Most three-legged stool analogies end with “you can have two, but you can’t have all three.”

We don’t see it that way, because everything TeleTracking makes or does, in fact, addresses all three.

Our Real-Time Capacity Management™ platform:

•    Reduces cost and adds revenue by increasing the operational efficiency of a hospital.

•    Provides better access by increasing the utilization of existing space 20 percent or more.

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Categories: No Margin, No Mission

The Affordable Healthcare Act: Go or No Go?

Affordable Healthcare ActDoes anyone really know what the Supreme Court did last week?

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act is good news for suppliers of the type of medical information technology which helps hospitals maximize existing capacity.

That is, if the high court actually upheld the Act.  That is once again in dispute as a second round of critical analysis gets underway to determine what the court actually did rule. Writing in the New York Times’ Health Care BlogJeff Goldsmith didn’t see last week’s ruling as a win for the act.

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Categories: Author: Dennis Morabito, Financial Health of Hospitals