Inefficient patient flow adversely affects a health organization’s clinical outcomes and financial bottom line, but there are tools to help decision makers get back on track.
A hospital’s emergency department (ED) is responsible for the majority of its admissions, yet half of all EDs are operating at or above their maximum capacity to deliver quality care. With the ED as the front door to the hospital, it necessarily must operate as smoothly as possible. If it doesn’t, it risks adversely impacting many other areas of the organization.
One U.S. Department of Health and Human Services study found, for example, that sufficient nursing staffing in the ED “was associated with less hospital-related mortality, cardiac arrest, and other adverse events and outcomes.”
In a value-based care environment, HCO reimbursement is affected by Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) scores. Some studies have shown direct correlations between longer wait times to see a provider and patients leaving without being seen.
While poor staff scheduling can contribute to inefficient patient flow in the ED, having a messy patient flow can also lead to increased volume during overnight shifts when staffing may already be tight. Poor patient flow can contribute to:
- An increase in the number of patients who leave without being seen
- A decrease in adherence to established treatment protocols
- Lower quality of care delivered
- A decrease in patient safety
- An increased risk of malpractice litigation
- Lower patient satisfaction scores
- Loss of potential revenue from a decrease in admissions
It’s generally recognized that shortening patient journey times can help EDs reduce overall crowding and allow more patients to be seen during any given time. Yet, it can also be dangerous to focus on any one metric in isolation in an environment as dynamic as the ED.
Getting Patient Flow on Track with Advanced Data Analytics
Improving patient flow requires tracking relevant metrics that may impact this key performance indicator, identifying issues, analyzing the impact of potential improvement initiatives, and monitoring subsequent performance. d2i’s Performance Analytic Application can help your ED:
- Optimize staff scheduling, efficiency, and productivity
- Minimize ED crowding
- Reduce wait times to see a provider
- Reduce the number of patients who leave without being seen
- Maximize resource utilization
EHRs alone aren’t enough to support data that can be transformed into actionable information because they are by nature transactional databases, not analytics solutions. Implementing process improvement initiatives and using curated data and analytics tools to inform decision-making can help EDs clear bottlenecks and streamline their departments.
Our Client Success Team also goes above and beyond basic software support. We partner with our clients to help them achieve their operational goals. And while our tools are intuitive, we help monitor performance against established patterns and benchmarks and assist in developing action plans to improve patient flow.
d2i’s advanced analytics solutions allow HCOs to monitor clinical and operational performance, optimize scheduling, identify opportunities for improvement, reduce risk, and align resources with demand. d2i cleans and normalizes data from a variety of sources so it can all work together to reveal opportunities for performance improvement. Contact d2i to learn how we can help you obtain better, more actionable data, or schedule a 30-minute demo and see why no other health care analytics tool or EHR system compares.