Improve Care Processes with Patient Flow Systems

Anthony Perry, Senior Research Analyst

Patient flow systems can help hospital organisations reduce average length of stay by identifying bottlenecks that create delays in care and helping clinicians plan for patients’ discharge starting from when they are admitted.

Improving care processes in this way helps save clinicians’ time and enables hospitals to see more patients. Moreover, in some countries, hospital organisations incur penalties such as reduced reimbursement when length of stay exceeds defined limits.

Patient flow systems can provide a single view of ward activity, map activity across the hospital organisation, and guide decisions about staff mix and facilities requirements. However, patient flow systems can help only if the hospital organisation has high-quality data and a strong, data-driven culture.

To get the most value from patient flow systems, clinical and administrative leaders should prepare to accept the insights these can systems reveal, even when they may challenge popular thinking and require changing existing work practices.

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