NOW READING: Why Simplified Patient Flow is a ‘Sweet’ Proposition

STANLEY Healthcare’s Patient Flow solution and analytics has demonstrated value in helping clinics, ORs and EDs improve staff coordination, reduce patient wait times, streamline patient throughput, enhance patient satisfaction and increase room utilization. Even so, many organizations perceive that real-time Patient Flow is complex, but in fact, it isn’t. With Patient Flow, you can choose the level that suits your goals, budget and organizational capacity—this approach lets you have your “cake” and eat it, too.

We know, we know… Cake isn’t a healthy food. However, it provides a fitting analogy for our three-tiered approach for Patient Flow:

Layer 1: Patient Visibility.

Patient Flow lets your organization start with a base of Patient Visibility covering patient movement and status through the various milestones of the patient’s visit through the department or clinic (Registration, Waiting, In-Exam/In-Surgery, Ancillary (Imaging, Lab), Exam/Recovery and Departure/Discharge). This can be achieved with simple infrastructure, adding strategic chokepoints to mark milestone updates—only 5 or 6 extra devices depending on your facility.  On its own, this layer delivers insights for streamlining registration, reducing wait time for patients and providers, and improving patient satisfaction while providing real-time visibility to the patient’s milestone, time in procedure, and much more.

Layer 2: Add Room-Level Visibility. 

Once the Patient Visibility layer demonstrates value—and staff and patients are comfortable with the system—you can add another layer of capabilities and benefits to your “cake.” To support daily operations, Room-Level Visibility lets you easily see which rooms are available for patient placement. Of course, as you move from milestone-level to room-level patient location data, you enjoy more granular insights for optimizing room utilization over the long term. This tier also makes it possible to incorporate digital signage outside of a room with RoomCheck and to automate communications for faster turnaround times. Now, you know the patient is not just “in Exam” but exactly which room which reduces search times and improves overall efficiency. 

Layer 3: Staff Visibility. 

With mastery of Patient and Room-Level Visibility, your hospital or clinic can add this third tier to reach even greater heights in Patient Flow management. By incorporating Staff Visibility, you can automatically monitor the location, status and interactions of patients, staff, rooms and other resources. A three-tiered solution provides a complete picture of your patient experience—including patient wait times in room, staff-to-patient interaction times (value-added time) and utilization of rooms, equipment and other resources. Real-time visibility to the location of caregivers significantly enhances efficiency and improves communication.

Yes, hospitals and clinics that implement the full Patient Flow “cake” enjoy unprecedented insights for enhancing patient experience, increasing staff satisfaction and improving operational efficiency. But don’t view Patient Flow as an all-or-nothing proposition. Instead, start with a single layer of visibility and analytics. Mastering some basics—and then building from there—delivers some pretty “sweet” benefits.

We’ll be sharing more about Simplified Patient Flow at the Patient Flow Summit September 24 – 27, 2018 in Las Vegas. If you aren’t attending the Patient Flow Summit, reach out to us directly about how we can help you improve the delivery and experience of healthcare in your hospital or clinic.