At a recent American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) gathering in Seattle, Scott Galbari, VP and GM of Care Operations at Change Healthcare, moderated a panel discussion titled “Integrated Capacity Management: Approaches to Improving Patient Throughput and Patient Experience.”
Panelists shared their contemporary approaches to integrated capacity management for accelerating patient throughput, improved resource allocation, and better patient experience. The panelists included MaryPat Sullivan, MSN, RN, CNS, CNO and Chief Experience Officer, Overlook Medical Center, Atlantic Health System; Shari Schneider, BSN, RN, MS, Senior Director Clinical Systems, CNIO, St. Vincent, Ascension Health; and Christopher Dorman, MA, MBA-HCM, FACHE President and COO, Tift Regional Health System.
Speakers shared their success stories about how they integrated proper capacity management into their organizations. They provided examples of improved patient-flow efficiencies, explaining how they cut lengths of stay and also demonstrated how decreased ED boarding hours positively affected both care quality and patient safety.
Among the programs and benefits shared by the panelists:
- Sullivan noted that managers in the “bed huddles” (patient discussions) no longer state obvious data such as census information because it’s already visible to the entire team, which saves time. As a result, they were able to eliminate one of their daily bed meetings. They’ve also managed to lower premium pay from 4.5% to 2.1% of total paid hours.
- Schneider discussed how changing compensation incentives from an individual hospital to system-wide has incentivized the entire system to work together. In doing this they are reorganizing by specialty, to further ensure that each patient is placed where they will receive the best care. She described the development of a “One Call Center” which streamlines access to the 20+ hospitals in the system. They have also added telemetry monitoring and sitter video monitoring to this center of operations.
- Dorman shared that his organization has done away with silos within their system and created accountability, and that now with the transparency of data, “everyone’s business is everyone’s business.” He added that because they are being more proactive, LWOBS (Left Without Being Seen) instances dropped from 15% to 2%.
Whether the provider organization is small or a large multi-hospital system, integrated capacity management saves time and money while improving quality and the patient experience.
In a featured article on Healthcare Informatics, Change Healthcare’s SVP of Consulting Services, David Gallegos, explores efforts of the healthcare industry to help improve the patient experience.