Essay about Patient Flow Is A Prevalent And Ongoing Quality Improvement

Essay about Patient Flow Is A Prevalent And Ongoing Quality Improvement

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Patient flow is a prevalent and ongoing quality improvement issue for hospitals everywhere. A common delay in the patient flow pathway is the transfer of patients from the emergency department (ED) to inpatient units. Patients ready for admission are frequently held in the ED due to the deficiency of available inpatient beds. In root cause analysis of this issue, many hospitals find that inefficient discharge processes are a major contributor to the delay in patient admission from the ED. In attempt to resolve this dilemma, administrators at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange have created a discharge lounge as a place for discharged patients to go while waiting for pickup, rather than occupying a much needed inpatient bed. Although this solution to improving patient flow is a precedent that has been successful at other institutions in recent decades, St. Joseph Hospital is experiencing problems in underutilization and inefficiency of the discharge lounge. The purpose of this literature review is to compile scholarly evidence on strategies for successful implementation of a discharge lounge with subsequent improvement in overall patient flow.
Literature Review
An article published by the Journal of Healthcare Management, titled “Improving Patient Flow Through a Better Discharge Process,” analyzes the patient flow process and the necessary steps to successfully remodel the discharge process. The article presents three important practices that are essential to implementing a change in discharge procedures. First, improving the discharge process requires communication and collaboration. There are many “stakeholders” in the discharge process, all of whom must participate in implementation of change by providing feedback on barriers and ac...


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...the evidence provided in the second and third articles to develop strategies. Several strategies that appear promising at this point in the project include establishing and providing education on a new standardized discharge process, setting the expectation for all patients to go to the discharge lounge, and increasing nurse manager involvement in ensuring utilization by staff nurses. Finally, the second and third articles offer examples on how to effectively audit and sustain the improved process to ensure long-term success in improving patient flow. More specifically, the discharge lounge project at St. Joseph Hospital would benefit from regular, department-specific utilization and flow audits. Overall, the research collected in this literature review contributes valuable information essential achieving fruitful results in the quality improvement project at hand.

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