Background & Problem Summary

Healthcare organizations have long struggled with patient flow. Coordinating care, physical resources, and internal systems (e.g., admission and discharge processes, information access) across units, shifts, and workflows is an enormous challenge. It’s also a critical component of the facility’s overall process management. Getting it right matters, as patient flow can have a real impact on patient safety and satisfaction, care quality, provider satisfaction, and costs.

Accelerator Overview

Data and analytics that accurately represent the complexity of patient flow in your facility—and give you new insight to manage it.

Patient Flow Explorer provides a holistic view of the workflows and resources that affect your ability to place patients at the right level of care, in the right unit, as efficiently as possible. Multiple views and visualizations of the end-to-end patient journey allow you to identify bottlenecks and understand their causes—as well as distinguish between activities that add value to the patient experience and those that simply contribute to waste.

Benefits and Features

Understand demand and capacity.

The application shows the common workflows across the hospital and can use admission, discharge, and transfer (ADT) logs from the EMR to establish patterns, trends, and cycle times of common workflows.

Identify issues with the biggest impact to your system.

Patient Flow Explorer reveals your highest utilized workflows and the issues that slow or complicate patient movement within them.

See and understand variation in expected patient pathways.

How well does your patient flow match the ideal or expected path for a particular disease state? Where is there variation—and what might be driving it? The application lets you explore variation to determine what interventions may be warranted to standardize around the safest and most efficient practices.

Speed time to analytic value.

The application allows you to quickly see—and target—the source of problems in patient flow by stratifying and comparing data by: Time: Of day (shift), week, year (seasonal), Current capacity of hospital, department, Provider by specialty or service line, Chief Complaint/Primary Procedure, Patient (demographics/type)

Satisfy requirement of The Joint Commission (TJC).

The application includes a daily monitoring function that easily meets TJC standards related to patient flow.

Use Cases

  • Managers in the staffing office/bed management department use Patient Flow Explorer to review the typical census and admission/discharge times by day of week and time of day to ensure bed availability and staffing coverage for patient care.
  • The ED manager uses the accelerator to understand and improve performance of ED throughput, ED holds, and patient flow into the inpatient units by day by hour.
  • Inpatient department managers use the application to review the census, admissions, and discharges by day of week by time of day; this data helps them increase efficiency by routing patients to the appropriate bed upon admission and by managing staffing more appropriately.
  • An infectious disease provider learns that one of his patients has a highly contagious virus. He accesses Patient Flow Explorer to quickly to understand/verify all the locations the patient occupied during an inpatient stay.
  • The strategic planner and nursing director use the accelerator to determine bed utilization by unit by day, understand the typical patient flow, and inform planning of any changes needed to ensure they have adequate capacity to support patient care.

Key Measures

  • Length of Stay (ED, inpatient units)
  • Bed transfers
  • ED throughput time
  • Discharge process time
  • Patient satisfaction