Let’s face it, warehousing of product in essence should be relatively simple. The product is received, putaway, picked and then shipped with an occasional count to make sure everything is in order.
Every hospital organization is unique and has attributes that separates them from others, these can include: number of beds, programs and services, budgets, patient population served, models of care and staffing models. However, there are many similarities – there never seems to be enough beds and inevitably patients have to wait for services, whether they be internal services or those provided by your community partners. Patient flow and patient throughput is a major focus in all hospitals. The question remains, how do we measure patient flow and what is the gold standard or benchmark for excellent patient flow?
Remaining in the hospital when a patient no longer requires an acute care setting puts them at risk for many reasons: nosocomial infections, physical deconditioning, and decreased mental status are some key examples. The longer the Length of Stay (LOS) exacerbates these and results in poor clinical outcomes and dissatisfied patients and families. In hospitals we, the care providers, are overwhelmed and are often task focused, which prohibits us from not focusing on progression of care. We need to be go back to basics and put the focus back on the patient and providing quality care.