Hospitals have always struggled with monitoring and implementing strategies to reduce the pressure of patient flow within our hospitals- it’s nothing new. There has always been a focus on bed supply and how it impacts directly upon the operation and efficiency of the organisation. But is there more to hospital efficiency then providing empty beds for new patients?
Dr Rajiv Jayasena, the Victorian Lead for eHealth Research Program at CSIRO raised the point of empowering hospitals to look beyond bed based care. Hospitals are so focused on meeting targets within their organisations that they are becoming blind sighted to alternate strategies to reducing the pressure of patient flow on health systems.
Australian Hospitals are venturing into new territory, where the debate does not lie around how many beds are available in any one hospital but the efficiency in which that hospital aid’s the patient journey and experience.
Health care organisations should be investing in programmes that look beyond the hospital wards. Far too often patient’s are arriving at the emergency departments unnecessarily. If patients were capable of understanding the health system better and their current health circumstance than hospitals would not be wasting valuable resources.
Hospitals should be thinking more innovatively, engaging with the community and medical staff to expand the concept of care beyond hospital walls. By improving the role allocation of staff within hospitals, such as nurses and support staff, the pressure on medical staff can be reduced.
Health organisations need to adopt a whole hospital perspective. Looking beyond each department as a separate unit but more as a whole machine working collaboratively towards a common purpose of improving patient care in and out of the hospital.
The next conference in this series, Whole of Hospital Strategies to Improve Patient Flow, takes place in May 2016. Book your place by February 19th to save $400.