U.S. hospital stays cost the health system at least $377.5 billion per year. In today’s value-based care environment, hospitals are under increasing pressure to avoid patient harm and maintain quality while also lowering costs. Reducing hospital length of stay (LOS), especially as it relates to avoiding unnecessary hospital-acquired conditions (HACs), is a primary indicator of a hospital’s success in achieving these goals.
El Camino Hospital, a 395-bed multi-specialty community hospital in Mountain View, Calif., places a high priority on keeping patients safe. However, when it came to its goal of reducing LOS, leaders recognized that they faced some major challenges, including:
By implementing analytics and protocols that provide access to actionable data, the LOS reduction team was able to identify patients at high risk for increased LOS so that they could develop and track critical interventions. El Camino Hospital’s patient-centered approach to tackling LOS reduction also included multidisciplinary cooperation, leadership buy-in, and additional resources to enhance discharge care coordination.
This innovative, systematic approach resulted in not only a better than anticipated reduction in average LOS (ALOS) of 7.8 percent, but also:
The hospital’s implementation of its comprehensive and collaborative HAC reduction plan has resulted in measurable quality of care improvements and cost reductions, including: