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Lean Healthcare

3 keys to increase patient flow

Hospitals, by their inherent nature, are under great pressure. A pressure that has been magnified as a consequence of the pandemic; their professionals have had to learn to manage large patient loads with many specific needs.

A situation that has highlighted the importance of increasing patient flow, and optimizing processes as much as possible.

Achieving this may seem difficult using traditional methodology, but it is possible to equip hospitals with the IoT technology needed to improve efficiency across all departments.

What is patient flow?

It is the movement/process that patients follow from their arrival at the healthcare facility until discharge. The flow includes the care, resources, and decision-making that motivate each change in the patient’s condition during the process.

It is therefore a fundamental element that has a direct impact on the quality of care received, patient safety, and patient health.

Consequently, an optimized and efficient patient flow improves the quality of care, generates less stress for healthcare professionals, and has an impact on hospital resources. Smooth and coordinated care avoids patient overcrowding, the need for more staff to care for them, and even increases healthcare capacity.

Benefits of optimised patient flow:

  • Reduced waiting times
  • More time spent on patients rather than on tasks that undermine quality of care
  • Improved professional and patient satisfaction
  • Increased resource efficiency

3 keys to increase patient flow

With the right tools, any hospital can increase and optimise its patient flow.

Improve communication and coordination of different departments and teams

Patient flow must be addressed across an entire healthcare area (surgical block, emergency department, etc.) because teams do not work individually within the healthcare process, but rather in a multidisciplinary way. Therefore, a bottleneck that occurs in earlier stages of care can have a perceptible effect a posteriori. For example, a poor identification of the patient at the point of entry into the process can lead to inconveniences at the time of discharge.

Solutions such as ORvital (focused on the Surgical Block) or Stela (created for emergencies) allow all teams to identify each patient in real time, know their status within the process, the next tasks to be performed and even receive tasks automatically generated through changes in the patient’s status.

Reinforcing processes that are not strictly clinical

During the entire process that the patient goes through from the moment he/she enters the hospital to the moment he/she is discharged, he/she is cared for by different teams. Precisely, not all of these staff, although they provide strictly clinical treatment, are involved in the process and their role has a significant impact on patient flow. An example of this are the staff who receive patients and perform administrative tasks, orderlies, cleaning staff, etc.
Automating these tasks through technology speeds up the process for each patient and reduces manual work.

Our solutions are able to automatically generate cleaning tasks that optimise the use of the operating theatre and therefore speed up the process of admitting new patients, send transfer notifications to the team of orderlies or automatically record operating theatre times.

Obtain accurate and real data to improve decision making

Because knowing what happens during the process, when and how, allows for greater control over the process. Through technology, it is possible to have real-time information so that managers can make quick decisions that improve patient care, support staff at a given moment and, in general, increase efficiency.

In this sense, at MYSPHERA we have included in our technology a proprietary analysis platform that includes graphs focused on specific needs. In this way it is possible to check the functioning of processes and compare them with other periods in order to look for improvements.