Let’s begin here by asking ourselves, ‘what has the power to tell a story?’ Of course we can rely on the hard facts and evidence such as statistics, survey results and data – numbers always have the ability to convey a message or to effectively tell a story. In saying this, an experience can also serve to impact the future of these numbers or as the saying goes, a story “straight from the horse’s mouth” will prove to provide beneficial insight.
This is just one example of such a story, taken from Unblocking a Hospital in Gridlock – a UK report into Patient Flow in the NHS:
“Following an eight-day stay in hospital, Gerard, a retired economist and management consultant, wrote to the trust’s chief executive. Although he felt he’d been treated well and had a good outcome, he knew that his care hadn’t been organised in an optimal way, and he identified a number of periods during his stay where he was particularly concerned. Instead of sending a response letter, Chief Executive Glen Burley invited Gerard to come back to the hospital. They met with the clinicians who had been involved in his care in order to process map what had happened (see figure below). The mapping exercise was an eye-opener: within an eight-day stay, only 18% of the time spent had really added value to Gerard’s treatment and care. This meant that 82% of time and resources had been ‘wasted’. Using the finance department’s nominal cost of £250 ($490) per day, only £750 ($1472) out of £2,000 ($3926) was actually needed to get him better. The exercise exposed the errors and delays in the pathway, and highlighted to staff the inefficiency, waste and poor quality of the system as a whole.”
Is this what is required to get answers on how to improve patient flow? Of course there is a variety of different factors contributing to the flow of patients which will be discussed at the upcoming Driving Whole of Hospital Reform to Improve Patient Flow conference in May including:
- ‘How effective governance structures can drive performance’ presented by Dr Ian Scott from the Princess Alexandra Hospital, QLD.
- ‘Whole of Hospital Program: Characteristics of high performing hospitals within NSW’ presented by Luke Worth from NSW Health.
- ‘Ticket home: Improving discharge processes’ presented by Janice Osteraas from Bendigo Health Hospital, VIC.
Do you want your hospital to feature as the scene of the latest story about patient flow?
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.