Can a foundation trust with six hospitals reduce the Length of Stay, improve the admission, stay and discharge process, and increase the bed availability in the hospitals - in three main actions?
Background and Challenges
A foundation trust in Northern UK, with six hospitals and $500 million invested in infrastructure, was experiencing high discrepancies among the Length of Stay (LOS) within its different hospitals.
The hospitals are admitted by 75,000 patients per year, 30% of which are from outside the county.
The foundation asked Tefen to help it to improve the admission, stay and discharge processes, and reduce the Length of Stay across all hospitals. Moreover, the foundation asked Tefen to help it increase bed availability within the hospitals.
Tefen performed three main actions that would solve the foundation's issues:
• Mapped the processes and identified the causes for delays and slowdowns in the patient flow
Fig. 1: Patient Flow Map
• Designed recommended solutions, defined the implementation plan, and created a Project Management methodology
Fig. 2: Implementation plan
Tefen also identified several major processes that have impact on patients’ Length of Stay (LOS). These processes included several points, such as:
• 24 x 7 Hospital Operations: What are the key hospital services that are preventing timely discharges because they are not offered on evenings of weekends?
• ICU Utilization: How can we improve the transfers from our inpatient facilities to the next level of care?
• Outside Patient Transfers: How can we help and equip physicians to proactively communicate the date of discharge and facilitate patient movement to the next level of care?
The economic impact of the average Length of Stay reduction obtained approximately $17 million in 3 years.
Also, the patients’ LOS was aligned to international benchmarks.