Optimizing patient flow is about improving the care and resources needed to support patients throughout their journey at the Hospital, from admission to discharge. A new automated bed report at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre is improving patient flow and helps patients receive the right care, at the right time.
“Patient flow remains as one of the most prevalent issues affecting our Hospital,” said John Ross, Director of Medicine, Patient Flow and Partnerships. “Our Emergency Department (ED) is one of the busiest in the province, and this, along with admission requests received from OR/Recovery Room, Outpatient Clinics, Regional hospitals and various home and community locations, means that we average approximately 60 admissions per day. Every improvement we make ensures that when patients are admitted they are able to move into an inpatient bed sooner.”
The newly created automated Patient Flow Report, implemented earlier in the year, is helping significantly to optimize the patient journey. This report provides efficient and detailed bed occupancy information in real-time, allowing members of the Hospital’s health care team to see and address potential delays in services for patients much sooner and with better accuracy.
“Before this improvement, bed reports were completed manually by the Admitting Clerks and this onerous task took valuable time away from the actual assignment of beds. When accounting for the ongoing demands of daily capacity and occupancy pressures, it is essential for our teams to be able to access relevant information in real-time to assist in the facilitation of patient flow,” said Nancy Saxberg, Manager of Corporate Patient Flow. “Our newly automated reports are much more efficient and accurate, and allow our teams to focus proactively on supporting patients to access beds when they need them.”
The creation of this new report is an important foundational change that sets the stage for more patient flow improvement strategies and initiatives. It has also significantly improved communication and coordination across all areas of the Hospital, as well as system partners across the region.
“It’s important to us that everyone in Northwestern Ontario who needs care can access it at the right time. Working together with health system partners is essential to ensuring that patients receive safe, quality care. The automated report supports us in doing that,” said Ross. “Patient flow improvement is a complex and ongoing strategy, and we are all committed to enhancing the coordination of care and working closely on a daily basis to support best possible outcomes and experiences for patients and their families.”