Surge Plans: They’re Not Just for the Emergency Department

For years, I’ve had a weekly Google alert that serves up articles on hospital patient flow. About 75% of the articles I get are news stories about packed emergency departments (EDs): patients lined up in on gurneys in hallways, primarily in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and India. These patients are waiting for both treatment [...]

By |2020-03-31T14:28:57+00:00February 25th, 2020|

How to Accelerate Inpatient Discharge Management

I’m not breaking any new ground when I say that improving hospital patient flow is really, really hard. Several months ago, I wrote about the challenges in improving observation patient management. (You can now see the recent outcomes of that work here!) I’d like to expand those ideas to tackle a thornier problem: inpatient discharge management. Those on the front [...]

By |2020-02-25T20:19:00+00:00December 3rd, 2019|

With Predictive Analytics, Florida Hospital Tackles Census Forecasting Challenges

Florida is a popular place to retire. With the arrival of “snowbirds” every winter, local hospital leaders expect and plan for seasonal fluctuations in patient census. But what one area hospital didn’t plan for was a boom in Florida’s year-round population, including young people and families who have relocated to the area. This created a daunting challenge. Managing unpredictable patient [...]

By |2020-03-31T19:19:35+00:00November 14th, 2019|

Get Off Paper and On the Same Page

Mobile technology and great software allow hospital systems to manage discharges with an eye toward reducing length of stay and freeing up bed capacity. We’ve all seen it: physicians, nurses, care managers and patient flow specialists carrying a familiar clipboard or binder with printed patient information while they’re making their hospital rounds. You may even be a member of one [...]

By |2020-03-30T18:44:03+00:00August 20th, 2019|

No Average Day – Why Hospitals Should Focus on Variation

When trying to understand a particular issue — whether related to cost, quality, or the patient experience — hospital administrators and health care policymakers can face a deluge of different data and data sources. This data, however, will almost always be condensed with a convenient summary metric, namely, an average. Average length of stay, average boarding time, average time to [...]

By |2020-03-30T18:45:29+00:00July 16th, 2019|

The Path to Better Observation Management

Hospital care in the U.S. is a complex dance of coordination and communication. Management guru Peter Drucker wrote in 2002 that the hospital is “altogether the most complex human organization ever devised.” Drucker was talking about the proliferation of “knowledge workers” in today’s workforce – groups like physical therapists, lab and imaging techs, care managers, and so many more that [...]

By |2020-03-30T18:46:40+00:00May 15th, 2019|

Steps to Improving Length of Stay: Strategic, Tactical, and Technical

Happy 2019! To celebrate the new year, let’s visit an old topic: hospital length of stay (LOS). It’s a universal and critical metric in U.S. healthcare: the amount of time in an episode of hospitalization from admission to discharge. Most U.S. hospitals have some sort of desire to reduce LOS in some way. But despite being a metric with a [...]

By |2020-03-30T18:49:49+00:00January 2nd, 2019|

Improving ED and Inpatient Operations with Predictive Analytics

When first working with a hospital interested in improving their Emergency Department (ED) and inpatient operations, one of the most important steps we undertake at Hospital IQ is the business discovery process. This consists of having detailed discussions with hospital leadership and staff to better understand the obstacles they are facing, and to learn about any improvement initiatives that may [...]

By |2020-05-21T21:42:02+00:00December 11th, 2018|

3 Ways a Census Forecast Can Benefit Your Organization

Recently, I was speaking with a nursing manager, trying to gain a better understanding of how that person’s organization forecasts demand. They pointed out a lunar calendar that had been posted on a bulletin board and explained they anticipated higher hospital admission rates on days with a full moon. Of course, I felt compelled to look into this theory. After [...]

By |2020-03-30T18:52:47+00:00August 28th, 2018|

Don’t Manage to the Moment: Predictive Analysis is Critical to Hospital Command Centers

The phrase “command center” is used often these days in the world of hospital operations. At its core, the idea just makes good practical sense – the coordination of patients, staff and resources is complex, multifaceted and involves several organizational groups at any hospital or health center. Bringing those groups together under the same umbrella allows for easier coordination and [...]

By |2020-03-30T18:53:14+00:00July 17th, 2018|
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