Triage Sessions, Other Measures Taken to Improve Patient Flow at Montefiore Medical Center

Intensive care unit physicians at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, N.Y., have employed several innovative measures, such as triage sessions, to help the hospital smooth its patient flow, according to a Wall Street Journal news report.

ICU physicians meet every day during regular triage sessions to go over the hospital's sickest patients. Patients whose conditions are improving are moved to less-intensive units to open up beds for those in need of more critical care. Physicians at Montefiore, which touts the second busiest emergency department in the country, strive to have the most number of beds available for the most critically ill patients. Daily triage sessions are just one measure Vladimir Kvetan, MD, director of critical care medicine at Montefiore, devised as a means to ensure patient flow is never interrupted.

Dr. Kvetan also dispatches teams of critical-care specialists to patients' bedsides before they are brought to the ICU. By the time patients arrive at their beds, the critical care teams have already determined what kind of care they need and where in the hospital they can receive that care. This "ICU Without Walls" approach allows critical care teams to think outside the box if an ICU bed is not readily available.

Dr. Kvetan's innovative measures not only help minimize bottlenecks in Montefiore's ICUs but have also helped reduce the hospital's overall mortality rate from 3.5 percent in 1997 to 1.8 percent in 2009, according to the news report.

Read the news report about Montefiore Medical Center's improvement in patient flow.

Read other coverage about hospital efficiency:

- Denver Health Wins International Award for Efficiency

- Make a Hospital Faster in 5 Days

- 6 Tweaks to Improve the Efficiency of Hospital ORs

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