VCU Health’s reputation in the Richmond, VA community is defined by inventing better care, day by day, by discovery—which includes intense research, collaboration with experts, and sheer brainpower meeting unrelenting willpower. VCU is committed to doing whatever it takes to offer the best in care while empowering a greater quality of life.
Such a commitment to care is what led Kelley Barry, Senior Clinical Applications Analyst, to review best practices related to patient discharge to both improve the experience for patients and free up capacity for the health system. One of the discharge efficiency best practices encourages care teams to plan for a patient’s discharge 24 hours in advance to avoid delays on the day of discharge. That’s where Barry saw an opportunity to improve the process and reduce the number of delays related to obtaining prescriptions prior to patient discharge. By creating a ‘discharge pharmacy indicator’ in TeleTracking’s PatientTracking Portal™ application, the pharmacy can identify and prioritize prescriptions for patients being discharged that day, or in some cases, fill prescriptions the day before. Barry’s research shows that discharge milestone delays stating patients were waiting for a prescription were in fact actual medication delays, so making the milestone more specific was the first step in developing a new set of indicators.
“We assembled a cross-functional team that looked at ways to improve our overall approach. The group agreed that an initiative with discharge pharmacy would be one of the easiest to roll out. I quickly saw the impact this could have and started a conversation with a pharmacist who was also interested and ready to move forward,” says Barry. “Expanding on the other initiatives to optimize our ability to prioritize prescriptions for patients being discharged, we developed a new care progression indicator. Now when prescriptions are sent to the pharmacy, the pharmacists see the pending and confirmed discharges in this new column and can prioritize the prescriptions that need to be filled—and consequently avoid delays in that patient’s discharge.”
Easy as red, yellow and green: download this Patient Flow Quarterly Feature to learn more about this new approach and the benefits of increased visibility.
Clinical Applications Analyst - Senior, VCU Health
Kelley has been with VCU Health since 2010. She has a BA from VCU and is working on her Information Technology Master’s Degree with Informatics Specialization from the University of Maryland University College.