Understand how we got here — and how to move forward.


April 5, 2012

Two pieces of advice for LOS reduction

Daily Briefing

    Sruti Nataraja, Clinical Advisory Board
    Hospital leaders across the nation typically have their length of stay statistics committed to memory. Although performance on this metric is certainly worth remembering, lead your efforts with two suggestions in mind.

    1. Think about the opportunity to improve—best captured by their number of avoidable days relative to a benchmark. When using benchmarks, one should consider the validity of the benchmark based on whether or not they reflect a true "apples to apples" comparison that your facility can use to guide performance improvement.

    2. While monitoring LOS is one helpful barometer of progress, there are many other metrics that may prove even more targeted in accurately assessing patient flow. We advocate for pushing beyond LOS to surface additional metrics that might reveal distinct pain points and improvement opportunities.

    To aid in that effort, the index of capacity-management-related metrics we unearthed during the course of our research are shown below. You will notice that we have broken the metrics down by category to provide definitions and targets based on literature, as well as discussions with vendors and high-performing organizations.




    Moving forward, hospital margins will tighten and health care leaders will need to re-double their efforts to improve operating margins. Despite much of the uncertainty in health care these days, one truth is clear: length of stay reduction remains a key driver for improvement.

    Learn more
    Clinical Advisory Board members, access the Customized Length of Stay Opportunity Assessment to help identify opportunities to reduce length of stay for inpatient Medicare cases at your hospital—no data entry required. Not a member?  Learn more on our website.

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