As Director of Centralized Patient Logistics, Lisa Maples, RN, BSN, MSHSA provided leadership for the multiple departments that impacted patient flow across the Health First Integrated Delivery Network (IDN). Lisa recently retired and took a few minutes to share her thoughts on what it takes to launch and sustain a successful patient flow strategy, along with the staff members and patients who had an impact on her over the years.
“I have been an RN for more than 30 years. I graduated with a BSN and started my career working in a med/surg unit, eventually transferring to the ICU after a year—but I always knew that I would end up in the ED because I knew that emergency nursing was my true calling. When the right opportunity became available, I moved to a Level 1 trauma center as a staff RN. I worked my way into the trauma room and never looked back. I spent 12 years at this center and was the director by the end of my time there. I also spent a few years doing part-time flight nursing during this time. I then spent the next eight years as an administrative director for a couple of different emergency departments—including having responsibility for two urgent care centers. At that point I was looking for something different and found the patient flow role at Health First. I had only seen patient flow—and the opportunities for improvement—from the emergency department side and was very interested to see it from the inpatient side. I took a new role at Health First as the Patient Flow Administrator and within six months I had also taken on the role of managing the staffing office and the house supervisors. The patient flow role morphed into a role that allowed us to centralize patient flow across the IDN, by adding the flight team, flight communications, centralized registration, non-medical stretcher transport and the transfer center under the one umbrella of Centralized Patient Logistics.”