Using Clinical and Operational Data to Unravel the Hospital Throughput Mystery

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Patient Flow

Jeanne McGrayne
Premier Inc.

Prior to improving their processes, it was common practice for Henry Ford Medical Center - Warren Campus to divert ambulances away when the ED was full. Patients sometime waited days to get to an inpatient bed. Premier Consulting Solutions was invited to help HFMC WC to better understand the complex nature of hospital througput. In this presentation, attendees will learn the clinical and operational processes and data necessary and methodology to analyze and improve hospital throughput.

Alike many organizations, patients at Henry Ford Medical Center, Warren Campus were waiting hours in the ED for a bed. This lead to dissatisfied patients and their physicians, and often delayed the initiation of appropriate care. Physicians complained that nurse staffing was insufficient, and nurses felt that certain physician practice patterns and decisions were responsible for delays. Administrators at HFMC-WC looked to Premier Consulting Solutions to help. The team utilized clinical and operational data to compare HFMC practices to better performers and to identify performance gaps. Premier evaluated opportunities for improvement in each of the portals of entry to hospital admissions (ED, OR, direct admissions). Operational analysis also included evaluation of the staffing and scheduling, roles and responsibilities of staff and technology available to departments that impact hospital throughput. Clinical analysis included the evaluation of appropriate bed type utilization and overutilization of tests that prolong the patient's hospital stay. The analysis identified more than $2.8 million annually to be saved by improving throughput, ensuring patients were placed in the right bed, at the right time, and length of stay was managed. As a result of implementing strategies recommended, HFMC has eliminated the need to divert ambulances away from their ED and reduced inpatient length of stay from 4.7 to 4.1 days.