How Erlanger Health Systems is using data to improve patient throughput

ED overcrowding. Chronic wait times. Overextended lengths of stay. Errors in scheduling.

If your organization is consistently struggling with these issues, you’re likely dealing with inefficiencies in your patient throughput. Somewhere along the line, there’s a breakdown in processes or systems that’s preventing your staff from quickly and efficiently serving patients.

While it’s easy to spot the tell-tale signs of patient throughput issues, it can be challenging to determine exactly what’s causing them. If you're seeking a solution, you'll want to start by developing a patient throughput initiative. With an effective initiative in place, you'll begin to identify and address the root cause of your issues, eventually leading to greater cost savings and, most importantly, better patient outcomes.

So, what makes a successful patient throughput initiative?

If you ask Donna Bourdon, vice president of Patient Logistics at Erlanger Health Systems, she’d say there are three main factors:

  1. Executive-level and organization-wide buy-in
  2. Clearly defined goals and KPIs
  3. Tools and resources that enable you to analyze data and measure results

Donna headshot for emailDonna shared this advice during Nordic’s recent webinar, How to Use Data for More Efficient Patient Throughput. As the leader of Erlanger’s patient throughput initiative, she’s responsible for overseeing the success of this initiative – one that relies heavily on data analysis to pinpoint efficiency challenges.

“In order to improve efficiencies, it was clear that we needed a better understanding of the barriers,” Donna explained during the webinar. “Everyone had their own empirically based ideas of what needed to occur. But we did not have the data.”

So, in this quest for data, Donna and team turned to Nordic. They worked with our Data & Analytics team, who built the data visualization tools and dashboards Erlanger needed to make informed and actionable decisions that support its project goals. Donna showed these dashboards during the webinar, highlighting actual examples of the insights they’re tracking to drive more efficient patient throughput, including:

  • NEDOCS relationships
  • Bed cleaning data
  • GMLOS vs. actual LOS variability
  • Discharges by time of day
  • OR smoothing
  • Revenue cycle
  • Impact of indigent care on LOS
  • Boarder hours

You can view the full webinar presentation below. And if you have any questions about how your organization can use data to improve patient throughput, please give us a call. We'll listen to your needs and help you determine the best approach for reaching your specific patient throughput goals.


Topics: featured, digital health

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