Time flies when you’re a patient: The challenges of patient throughput management

Woman laying in hospital bed

Time flies when you’re a patient: The challenges of patient throughput management

The largest hospital in Sweden has room for several thousand patients, and as of today, tracking patients and their hospital procedures is not as common as it should be. This is a big problem for hospitals since there’s no reliable way to determine where time is spent or bottlenecks occur. In fact, not keeping accurate track of patients can even cause severe safety problems.

We’ve outlined the challenges the healthcare industry faces as the number of patients increases and the demand for care grows stronger.

Challenge 1: Difficulty spotting bottlenecks due to lack of overview

Without a system to track patients and their medical journey within a hospital, it’s impossible to know where improvements could be made. With accurate real-time data, administrative staff could analyze the day-to-day activities and figure out if time is wasted, where time is wasted and possible solutions. Not only would this save the hospital money and resources, but it would save the staff time and energy whilst being able to provide better care for many more patients.

Challenge 2: Wasting resources on unutilised operating rooms

A study conducted at a Swedish hospital, “A study of flows in day surgery”, investigated how the flow within day surgery could improve. The hospital did not have a digital system outlining the throughput of patients (which few hospitals have) which made the study more complicated for the researchers. Through observation, interviews with staff and document studies, they concluded that the biggest bottleneck is the surgery room itself. A patient is in the surgery room 63% of the time, but the actual surgery only takes up 29% of the time. This means there is a long period of time where rooms and staff are unutilised resulting in fewer people getting surgery and more money being wasted.

Challenge 3: Long patient waiting times clog the system

During the Covid-19 pandemic, many non-emergency surgeries were postponed. Now, when the pandemic is coming to an end, people are finally getting their surgeries. However, as the demand for surgery increases, the staff and resources are not. There is a great need for more streamlined and efficient processes to be able to care for more patients in less time. Already long hospital queues are growing even longer, resulting in patients having to wait longer for the care they need.

Challenge 4: Mistakes could have devastating consequences

It’s uncommon, but it happens. Patients are mixed up and receive surgery intended for someone else. A different organ is operated on than what was supposed to be, or lab results end up with the wrong name on them. Human beings make mistakes and without a proper safety measures, mistakes will continue to happen. Hospitals need a fool-proof system to prevent mistakes from happening and to keep their patients safe.

The Patient Throughput Management solution tracks patients from beginning to end

BordaTex’s Patient Throughput Management solution is a patient tracking system, which gives you a clear and detailed overview of the entire hospital process. It allows you to get real-time information from the moment the patient is admitted to the moment the patient is discharged, without adding extra work tasks to an already busy staff. The solution highlights any delays or bottlenecks, makes sure the correct patient is matched with the correct operating room and allows relatives to receive continuous updates on loved ones receiving surgery. Streamlining hospital procedures results in a lower patient turnover, maximum space usage, and increased safety.

We know that excellent care requires both time and energy, and we want to give hospitals good conditions for maximizing both.

Do you have any questions about the Patient Throughput Management solution or want to learn more? Please contact us here. Together, we’ll make the healthcare industry better.

 

Photo by Stephen Andrews on Unsplash

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