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Hospital's 'No-Wait' Culture Slashes Costs

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, January 17, 2014

"The focus on overall flow includes a lot of different departments: Transportation, the whole registration department, the case managers," he says. "And increasingly, [CMS's new] two-midnight rule is getting a lot of attention."


See Also: Two-Midnight Rule Creates Financial Hurdles, Perverse Incentives


With tracking technology already in place, Milton says adding patient tracking tags was as simple as assigning them to patient. That way, the staff can further streamline patient flow from the ER.

"My thinking all along was to start small and build on it, so after success with IV pumps, our next wave was tagging patients when they come into the ER," he says.

RFID tags on patients track them from the time they register at the ED to the time of discharge either from the ED or from an inpatient room. Implemented only three months ago, Milton says it's too early for definitive results on wait times, but he will soon have more data he can review on those metrics.

"We're getting really good data for patients who, for example, go down for X-ray, and the system does some automatic prompts that should help the staff," he says. "The staff are pleased, particularly at the end, with discharge. They cut off the wristband and throw it into the RFID box, which sends environmental services a message saying that room's ready to be cleaned. It's definitely gotten us more efficient on turning over the room."

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1 comments on "Hospital's 'No-Wait' Culture Slashes Costs"


Michael Cylkowski (1/17/2014 at 1:12 PM)
Nice job of applying efficiencies but Taylorisms will only take you so far. What was the root problem? Nurses have to hunt down the equipment with their already precious little time so they secrete the equipment away in closets. Now that the available equipment is reduced by 22% they'll find another work-around like storing the free equipment next to the equipment being used. RFID cannot tell if something is actually in use or not; just turn it on and it'll be available when it is needed. The article ends with: "and also the patient will be safer." Reads like an afterthought!