We visit hospitals out of a variety of reasons. It can be a planned visit, or sometimes we find ourselves referred by our GP or even a medical consultant. To many, mention the word hospital and it rekindles memories that are best forgotten-long queues, slow services and of course the uncertainty at patient discharge.
With these tips, you can redesign the patient journey for increased efficiency as well as better service delivery.
- Involve all departments in the patient journey design
- Make use of your existing data to predict patterns
- Focus on rapidly growing specialities
- Examine the biggest entry and exit portals of your hospital
We explore these in a little more detail
Involve all department’s participation in the patient journey design.
It is not unusual for patient admission and flow to be disrupted because separate departments do not share the findings in each area. Therefore, apart from the usual “monthly meetings, and patient placement discussions” you can use the meetings to discuss whether the nurses are taking the patient data as quickly as possible. Regular meetings are a good opportunity to break down departmental barriers; otherwise, one department may be blaming the other without understanding the actual cause
Make use of existing data to predict patterns.
Patient information should be kept in privacy, but the admission number should not also be kept in secrecy. Collect and analyse data, then use it to predict the hospitals’ staffing needs, patient admission trends among other factors. Through the records, you can predict that Mondays are busy in the early hours, with many patients in the ER department and such trends. By predicting such trends, it becomes possible to have enough staff on standby to avoid delays.
Focus on rapidly growing specialities.
Since clinical groups do not follow a similar growth pattern, you may be required to make adjustments in terms of bed capacity and staffing within your hospital in response to a certain growing speciality. For instance, you may realize that the oncology department is growing rapidly than the haematology department, thus you should be in a position to identify and adopt appropriate measures.
Examine the biggest entry and exit portals of your hospital.
Hospital department have varying time frames for service delivery. Your hospital may be receiving many of its patients through the emergency department or through direct admissions, and these are the areas that need appropriate staffing. By monitoring the inflow of patients, it becomes possible to ponder on whether to slow the outside hospital transfers, as a way of enhancing quality service delivery.
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.