Children’s Hospitals Can Level Weekday Crowding by Adjusting Scheduling Methods

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Children’s hospitals can reduce the higher patient occupancy rates experienced during weekdays by scheduling more admissions on days with lighter schedules, according to a study by researchers from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and other pediatric institutions.

The study evaluated inpatient information from 39 children’s hospitals during 2007, finding high midweek occupancy and unused weekend capacity. Through a "smoothing" approach, hospitals can reduce peaks and troughs throughout the week to protect patients from crowding conditions.

Smoothing involves spreading the week’s volume of patients more evenly. To achieve a 6 percent reduction in weekly occupancy, an average of approximately 7 patients per week would have to be scheduled on a different day, according to the study release. Smoothing doesn’t necessarily require weekend admissions, however. Patients could enter on Friday with an anticipated charge of Monday, for instance.

Read the study release on patient crowding and smoothing occupancy.

Related Articles on Hospital Occupancy Levels:
Make a Hospital Faster in 5 Days
5 Strategies to Improve Patient Flow in a Busy Hospital
Willis-Knighton Efficiency Measures Cut Patient Wait Times, Improve Patient Satisfaction

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