In most industries, efficiency is merely a matter of profit. In the medical field, however, it is a matter of quality of care for patients. Being able to move patients both through and out of a medical facility keeps hospitals from overcrowding and patients from stalling in their treatment plans. This is especially important in hospitals with a high volume of patients. This is how busy hospitals can improve patient flow in their facilities.
Examine Relevant Statistics
It’s always easier to prepare for a problem you can see ahead of time, and if you can prepare, you will be able to deal with the issue more effectively. While hospitals frequently deal with the unexpected, they can look at trends regarding increases in hospital visits in order to prepare accordingly. For instance, most ERs experience a surge in visits on Mondays, rainy days, and certain holidays such as the Fourth of July. Identifying factors that cause ER visits to increase can help hospitals make more accurate staffing preparations.
Increase Inter-Department Collaboration
Because patient flow involves every department, it takes every department working together to improve it. For instance, an operation in one department may take staff away from another department. It is important to regularly address staffing needs across departments as well as implement strategies for effective communication between departments. This will improve a staff’s ability to move a patient from one stage of treatment to the next.
Implement Technological Strategies
Advances in technology have greatly improved our ability to send communications, so it makes sense to utilize them to improve patient flow in hospitals. Bringing patients from one department to another often requires a specific staff member or piece of equipment. New technologies available allow us to locate staff and equipment quickly in a hospital in order to cut back on time spent searching for them.
Increasing patient monitoring and remote patient monitoring systems are also key to improving patient flow. Patient monitoring equipment allows staff to monitor vitals in real-time. This helps prevent readmission, which can hamper patient flow. Patient flow should, therefore, be a key consideration when buying or leasing patient monitoring equipment.