Client Success

Cultural Change leads to Improved Patient Flow and Patient Care at New Mexico Health System

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New Ways to Serve All

Geographically, New Mexico is the fifth largest state in the United States. New Mexico is home to 2 million residents including 22 sovereign Native American tribes spread throughout the state. Healthcare needs are served by 28 acute care hospitals, nine of which are critical access hospitals having 25 beds or fewer. Health systems face some challenges related to caring for the state’s residents in the lowest commercially insured state, with the second highest Medicaid population. The University of New Mexico Hospitals are the state’s flagship facilities, providing the only level one trauma center, the only safety net hospital, and the only academic medical center. In addition, the system offers a comprehensive children’s hospital, a comprehensive behavioral health pediatric and adult hospital, a regional hospital and a primary care medical group.


UNMH Case Study


The system uses TeleTracking to effectively manage patient flow and provide the greatest number of patients with quality care. However, in 2014, things were very different, very taxing, and all manual. Bed requests were placed directly by a provider from many different areas —the emergency department, clinics, transfers and procedure areas. The “Bed Management” team then took those requests and sent faxes to every possible nursing unit to assist and find placement for the waiting patient in the least amount of time. Once a fax was received, the nursing unit performed a chart review on the patient and would decide if the unit was the best fit for the patient. If the patient was accepted, the nursing supervisor or designee would call the physician to notify them of the bed assignment. If the patient wasn’t chosen for a bed, they waited in the ED or a nursing supervisor would intervene.

“We knew something had to change."

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New Mexico Health

Cultural Change

“By taking what we “knew” to be true, we were able to create a culture of transparency, centralize patient placement, operationalize our processes and create daily management tools to drive outcomes. For example, we use an automated daily report that supports the daily management of our patient flow and throughput giving the data we need to respond to changes.”

Dr. Irene Agostini

Chief Medical Officer

Client Success

Outcomes at UNMH

Average Adult Emergency Department Bed Request to Occupy Time has gone from 13.7 hours in March 2015 to 5.8 hours in October 2016.

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More information about this resource

Categories
Patient Access, Patient Throughput, Patient Discharge, Hospital Command Center, Client Success
Media Type
Client Success
Roles
Clinician, Executive, Administration, Operations

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