Better inpatient capacity management means better patient and employee experiences: Lessons learned from LeanTaaS

Better strategies to manage length of stay have become essential in light of the ongoing staffing and operational challenges faced by hospitals and health systems.

Yet all too often, proven capacity management strategies are overlooked in favor of a more haphazard approach. 

The systemic results of poor patient discharge processes are varied and include challenges like longer lengths of stay, boarding in the PACU and ED and reduced access to care. 

During a Becker's Hospital Review webinar sponsored by LeanTaaS, two experts from LeanTaaS — Rob Grayhek, clinical operations advisor, and Pallabi Sanyal-Dey, MD, director, clinical operations — discussed how diverse hospitals are using technology to streamline discharge processes, while increasing patient access to care.

Three key takeaways were: 

  1. Capacity management depends on both technology solutions and operational support. LeanTaaS' predictive tools identify bottlenecks so that hospitals and health systems can take proactive capacity management measures. Technology by itself, however, isn't enough. "We provide the tools and the ongoing operational support to achieve the performance that organizations desire," Dr. Sanyal-Dey said. "We home in on strategies related to throughput and flow, look at governance and analyze workflows and SOPs. We reflect each organization's operational reality and where it would like to get to."

  1. Without sufficient staff, you can't maximize your organization's capacity. Hospitals nationwide are in the midst of a nursing shortage. Without enough people to provide care, hospitals simply don't have the capacity to accept patients.

    "LeanTaaS incorporates staffing into its patient flow model," Mr. Grayhek said. "We look at staffed bed capacity, rather than just staffed beds. Charge nurses can quickly look at variances, communicate needs to the staffing office and shift their focus back to patient care."

  1. Health systems rely on LeanTaaS to help reduce length of stay and increase capacity. After deploying LeanTaaS, Sarasota Memorial, a leading health system in Southern Florida, decreased its average length of stay by 8 percent and its ED boarding hours by 32 percent.

    The organization hasn't been on diversion in over a year. During that time, Sarasota Memorial saw a 20 percent increase in patient volume. Health First, a four-hospital system in Florida, decreased length of stay by 6 percent across all facilities, reduced ED holding times by 35 percent and repurposed over 2600 hours each week by streamlining communication processes. 

The journey to improved throughput and flow isn't always easy. LeanTaaS supports hospitals and health systems through a proven combination of technology, process and expertise. 

"Our clients see throughput start to happen in a seamless fashion," Dr. Sanyal-Dey said. "Patients flow through the ED doors and into the right units on the right floors and in the right beds. Accountability is clear across the team."

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