By engaging directly with skilled nursing facilities [SNF], TeleTracking’s Advisory Services facilitated a better discharge process across an entire community, resulting in better outcomes for the hospital, patients, and SNFs.
After TeleTracking’s implementation, the 120-bed hospital staff saw that even when early discharges increased, patient length of stay didn’t seem to be decreasing. The staff suspected that skilled nursing facilities were turning away patients on weekends, prolonging the hospital’s LOS. The Advisory Services team called on SNF representatives to review TeleTracking’s data.
“They were shocked,” said Kelly Robertson, Advisory Consultant. “They kept saying they did take patients on the weekend, and we said we’d track it through TeleTracking to see how subjective our perception was. The next time we came together, we had the data, and were able to show that it was a real problem. They were horrified.”
Faced with the objective proof that they were, indeed, the barrier to better care, the SNFs changed their acceptance processes to reduce discharge delays. The SNFs were able to provide lower-level care on the weekends; patients didn’t have to stay for unnecessary hours in the hospital; and those beds opened up for patients who needed them.
Advisory Services set up a quarterly meeting of hospital staff and SNFs to continue reviewing data and processes.
But it didn’t end there: Advisory Services set up a quarterly meeting of hospital staff and SNFs to continue reviewing data and processes. Every three months, preferred providers gather to share best practices and engage in healthy competition. The first step, Robertson said, was giving them access to what they needed to treat patients successfully.
“They keep their doors open by providing the highest-quality service, being the most responsive to hospitals, and by reducing readmission rates within organizations,” Robertson said. “We purposefully structured the preferred provider meeting to create transparency and visibility into each facility.”
The SNFs began competing and trying to improve against each other. Rather than turning down patients, they’re now vying for patients.
“Installation of TeleTracking has created a lot of a-ha moments,” Robertson said. “They suspected they had opportunities, and the data validated it.”
Resolving the unnecessary patient moves and preferred provider delays resulted in earlier discharges, and those changes weren’t as a direct result of technology; they were resolved because Advisory Services identified process issues and facilitated their implementation. After a full year of preferred provider meetings, the hospital leadership now uses the data to identify outcomes and improve patient satisfaction.
As a result, they’ve achieved best practice targets for early discharges, at 45%, and they’ve exceeded afternoon targets, with 60% of discharges happening before 3 PM. In addition, they’ve reduced LOS by 26% (from 4.17 to 3.05 days) and improved Left Without Being Seen by 27%.
RN, MSN, MPA, CGB
Kelly Robertson brings extensive clinical, executive, and change management experience to her role as a consultant for the TeleTracking advisory team. She is a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt. With hospital and health system experience in operations and leadership roles as a nurse for more than 25 years, she has been a member of executive teams in academic, community, ambulatory and post-acute hospital settings. In addition to serving as a member of senior leadership, her responsibilities have included; implementation of patient care technology at a large health system in Cleveland, Ohio, oversight of patient flow initiatives, and working in various departments such as research, quality, and risk.