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Top 5 Strategies to Improve Patient Throughput
Top 5 Strategies to Improve Patient Throughput
The average hospital emergency department (ED) patient in the US waits more than 90 minutes to be taken to their room and nearly 120 minutes to be discharged from the ED. What’s more troubling is that this does not capture the high volume of patients who choose not to wait – with the number of patients leaving the emergency department without being seen (LWBS) doubling in recent years. Take a moment to walk through a typical visit to the ED. After triage, patients are moved to an ED room where techs, nurses, and providers care for them. Efficient patient throughput is dependent on clear communication between these care team members. Add in collaboration from the ED staff with consults, radiology, labs, pharmacy, and case management – and it’s not hard to see why it can take hours for patients to be treated.
Accelerate ED patient throughput with streamlined workflows
Five strategies for remedying the complexities of patient throughput
The inability to treat patients quickly and effectively is often due to poor communication and collaboration processes. This is typically caused by outdated or disparate communication methods. When providers only use answering services and pagers, it becomes a one-to-one communication path fraught with trial and error, and delays. Out-of-date scheduling information often leads to even further delays in contacting the right person on call at a specific time – all of which directly impacts patient throughput and treatment. Each delay also has a significant financial impact, as long wait times mean EDs become overcrowded – affecting both labor costs and revenue.
Despite these complexities, hospitals can navigate ED patient throughput challenges by streamlining ED workflows with a modern clinical communication and collaboration (CC&C) platform.
Enhance care team collaboration
With a CC&C platform, care teams can significantly improve ED patient throughput by optimizing workflows among multidisciplinary teams. Care team members can seamlessly share patient information, collaborate effectively, and communicate in real-time via secure messaging – streamlining patient workflows and improving clinical decision-making. Additionally, advanced CC&C features, such as priority messaging and read receipts, enable care teams to quickly identify and prioritize patient care needs. This helps reduce delays in patient care, ultimately improving patient outcomes and satisfaction.
Improve care transitions
The TigerConnect Clinical Collaboration Platform provides a comprehensive solution for effectively managing care transitions for ED patients. With secure, HIPAA-compliant messaging, providers can seamlessly communicate with other care team members, whether it be transitioning care to another provider for admission, back to the patient’s clinic provider, or to another hospital or emergency department. Through real-time alerts and notifications, care teams can stay informed and up-to-date on critical patient information and events, allowing for smoother care transitions. Additionally, intelligent message routing ensures that the right person receives key messages in real-time, improving response rates and reducing the time patients spend waiting in the ED.
Implement role-based messaging
Core to driving effective patient throughput is the ability to ensure the right person is contacted at the right time. TigerConnect Roles and Teams enables health systems to eliminate time wasted searching through an EMR or on-call schedules. Role-based messaging allows care team members to quickly contact individuals by role, without needing to know their names. Pre-defined teams can also be alerted and mobilized at the same time to coordinate care – with an ability to add and remove team members as patient needs evolve. The functionality is also particularly useful in activating emergency response treatment and transfers – enabling caregivers to search and mobilize code teams in real time, eliminating requirements for pagers, alerts, or overhead systems.
Accelerate information flow with rapid notification and escalation
A typical day in the ED is full of compounding tasks and disruptions that can increase the time it takes for care team members to respond to messages. These delays can add up over different roles – amounting to slow patient throughput and reduced quality of care. TigerConnect makes it easy to seamlessly continue the flow of information through escalated messaging. The feature intelligently routes messages from unresponsive team members to the next pre-configured role capable of providing coverage. The escalation process will continue until a response is received, minimizing delays in patient care.
Adopt a secure communication platform
TigerConnect is an easy-to-use platform that is accessible for both smartphones and desktops, enabling healthcare organizations to achieve fast and accurate team communication and collaboration – all in full compliance with industry regulations. The cloud-native solution delivers HIPAA-compliant and HITRUST-certified messaging. This means that all messages and information shared through the platform are secure and adhere to the highest industry regulations, ensuring patient data confidentiality and protection. In addition, TigerConnect makes it easy for care teams to securely communicate and share information with care teams, patients, and their families, all from a single app.
Optimize workflows to improve ED patient throughput
With an unmatched number of patients seeking treatment in the ED each day, care teams worldwide are struggling to efficiently communicate, speed clinical decisions, and get patients the care they need. Communication delays dramatically extend treatment times and negatively impact patient throughput. TigerConnect Clinical Collaboration Platform is a proven, effective way to streamline ED workflows through faster collaboration between care teams.
Wondering where to start? Download the latest ebook to learn how hospitals can move patients through the ED faster and speed clinical decisions with TigerConnect.
Nikki Manuel, MSN, RN-BC, Clinical Consultant
Nikki Manuel, MSN, RN-BC, is a Clinical Consultant at TigerConnect. With more than 20 years of post-acute, critical care, and nursing informatics experience, Nikki helps develop essential systems to improve clinical workflows.
Tags: Clinical Communications and Collaboration, Clinical Communication, Clinical Workflows, Patient Care