Using Patient Flow Scorecards to Identify Capacity Management Issues

Implementing a patient flow scorecard to provide a comprehensive overview of patient flow may be beneficial in identifying specific areas of flow improvement, according to a study in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

A group of researchers and clinicians at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia developed a patient flow scorecard assessing five domains: patient progression from the emergency department to an inpatient unit, bed management, discharge process, room turnover and environmental services department processes and scheduling and utilization.

Each domain could receive a maximum of 20 points, with a total maximum composite score of 100. Additionally, performance was charted on a graph, color-coded with red, yellow and green depending on if domains failed performance goals, were less than 10 percentage points below the goal or if they exceeded the goal.

They found using a scorecard with composite measures, instead of looking at single measurements, provides a more useful analysis of patient flow practices because it provides a holistic assessment of performance while also identifying individual domains requiring improvement.

Researchers also suggest this type of holistic patient flow scorecard helps engage more staff in patient flow improvement processes, as the 100-scale scorecard and the red, yellow and green color-coding are easily accessible and understandable.

More Articles on Capacity Management:

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Scheduling, Timing of Staffing Overlap Reduces Patient Wait Times

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