After a three-year journey, patients at three affiliated hospitals are being discharged significantly faster than they were three years ago. Likewise, nurses and front-line staff are feeling less stress and burnout with visibility to patient flow and bed availability. Now, staff across the three hospitals have the tools to support automated, real-time bed discharge, greatly alleviating the bottleneck of delays around bed and capacity management.
This was not always the case at the hospitals where high patient volumes with frequent surges were the norm and maintaining an efficient patient flow through the facilities to timely discharges remained a challenge for a number of years. In some cases, patients left the hospitals without being officially discharged, leaving a bed empty but still unavailable for the next patient as it was still seen as 'occupied'
The hospitals had relied on their EMR and mobile handset technology, their Transport units and manual batching by nursing staff to keep the patient discharge pipeline moving. However, rising patient demand was becoming increasingly taxing and, ultimately, unsustainable for that discharge system.
The situation came to a head in late 2019 and little did the hospitals know the storm that was coming in just a few short months that would result in an avalanche of new patients flooding their ERs and available bed capacity - the COVID-19 pandemic.