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TeleTracking and The Joint Commission's Patient Flow Requirements

TeleTracking’s Real-Time Capacity Management solutions support compliance with The Joint Commission’s Patient Flow Requirements.

The Joint Commission (TJC) recently presented the 2013 Standards and Requirements and defined its position on emergency department patient boarding.

Boarding is the practice of holding patients in the emergency department or a temporary location after the decision to admit or transfer has been made. Hospitals should set goals with attention to patient acuity and best practice; it is recommended that boarding time frames not exceed 4 hours in the interest of patient safety and quality of care.

The Joint Commission has clearly delineated the requirements for standard LD.04.03.11. The hospital manages the flow of patients throughout the hospital. Per PC.01.01.01 (see page 3), the hospital accepts the patient for care, treatment, and services based on its ability to meet the patient’s needs.

The “patient flow standard,” gives hospital executives plenty of reasons to consider the advantages of an automated capacity management.  The ability to measure and view real time capacity and flow offers compelling advantages to improved efficiency and adherence to these new Joint Commission requirements.

The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 20,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. Joint Commission accreditation and certification is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards.

Susan Law, Vice President of Operations at HCA put it in an advisory to hospital executives within the system:

“It is important to consider TeleTracking in light of the January 1, 2014 new TJC standards regarding patient throughput which include tracking of metrics that currently are not readily available if you are not on a bed management system.”

Among the metrics required for TJC accreditation are:

  • Patient throughput of inpatient units, laboratory, operating rooms, telemetry, radiology, the post-anesthesia care unit and other treatment/service areas
  • The availability of telemetry beds
  • The available supply of patient beds, or the “occupancy rate”
  • Patient flow tracking from ICU to the in-patient units
  • Laboratory test turnaround times
  • Radiology test turnaround times from order to dictation
  • OR turnover times
  • Discharge turnaround time
  • Efficiency of non-clinical services such as housekeeping and transportation
  • Access to support services (such as case management and social work)

The above metrics can be generated and analyzed via TeleTracking’s robust set of standard and custom reports.  If you currently don’t have that kind of reporting capability, consider calling us for more information.

Nanne Finis

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