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Patient Logistics Overview

Hospitals are made up of many components. These are variously called departments, disciplines, silos, functions, units, even buckets. While the components generally are well managed, the space between them has been a problem.

Patient Logistics grew out of the recognition that with everyone focused on their own component, no one was managing the patient’s path between and through those components. The result was inadequate communication and less than optimal patient care.

Improving effective communication among caregivers was listed as the second highest priority among the National Patient Safety Goals issued by the Joint Commission in 2008. The commission noted that effective communication, which is timely, accurate, complete, and unambiguous, reduces error and results in improved patient safety.

TeleTracking Consulting Services helps hospitals and health systems implement or improve patient logistics through a combination of strategic change and process excellence across disciplines and functions, using the principles of Lean Management as a general guideline to create an optimal patient pathway from admission to discharge. This may include organizational restructuring, such as the establishment of a central transport department, a transfer center or a patient logistics command center.

Hospitals that have maximized existing capacity begin with an understanding of how people, processes and tools drive capacity constraints and opportunities. The first step is to measure performance in key areas that affect patient flow and capacity. This is done by bringing together key participants from disparate disciplines to focus solely on analyzing current processes and implementing changes. The goal is to eliminate waste in order to achieve continuous improvement without adding money, people, space or inventory.

Our patient flow specialists excel at combining technology and people in order to bring about maximum efficiency and eliminate redundancies and non-value added work. All of the TeleTracking consultants have directed patient flow redesign programs which integrated technology and process. They have a special understanding of the problems created by the “silo” mentality that commonly exists in the hospital setting. They also understand that the key to overcoming those obstacles involves making the patient flow process as transparent as possible through shared, real-time information.

Following on-site and off-site analysis, these specialists engage the appropriate staff in the project, develop custom blueprints designed to meet or exceed key metrics, help employees understand and accept the changes, and help assure metric goals are regularly achieved.

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