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Lean Healthcare

Patient flow and Smart Data: The combination needed to improve patient experience

By 16/05/2023May 17th, 2023No Comments

Optimal and efficient patient flow is the core of an effective healthcare system. Many hospitals have started to study their patient flows and how they can be improved.

Four signs of deficiencies in the process are:

  • Staff focused on tasks and not on patients.
  • Lack of coordination and communication between the different departments involved in the process.
  • Increase in surgical waiting lists and long waits in the emergency department.
  • Patient dissatisfaction.

Leveraging Smart Data for Optimal Patient Flow

Faced with this situation, data is the fundamental basis for optimizing this patient flow. And when we talk about data, we do not mean figures and statistics a posteriori, but ‘Smart Data’. Real-time data reveals area-specific happenings, and patient updates, and identifies inefficiencies or bottlenecks.

Currently, gathering this information is almost impossible with the digital resources that hospitals have. Despite the fact that digital history has been a qualitative step forward in terms of data, we still have manual records that are not usually kept in real time.

Through traceability systems, it is not only possible to know the real-time location of patients, but also to promote tools that make it possible to solve the main obstacles faced by patient flows.

In this way, it is possible to orchestrate and automate tasks such as time records in the operating theatre, in the waiting room, delays, alerts to orderlies and nurses, etc. Even the identification of a patient can be done quickly, speeding up transfers and improving patient safety.

Real-time Decision-making and Resource Allocation

Smart Data allows healthcare professionals to have the information they need when they need it. So, for example, service managers can make decisions in real-time for the redistribution of resources in the right place at the right time.

This information also avoids the ‘false efficiency’ of stretching staff beyond their means. Through orchestration and automation, staff can be freed from administrative tasks that detract from patient care and slow patient flows.

In conclusion, patient flow and Smart Data solutions not only simplify healthcare professionals’ work but also enhance department coordination and directly impact patients, leading to improved healthcare outcomes.

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