IT's Key Role in Lean Healthcare
As patients enter the emergency department, they are greeted and received into our electronic system with very minimal information. They are quickly triaged and moved to a bed, allowing clinical staff to begin care almost immediately. The registration clerk completes the patient's registration and insurance verification at the bedside. Once treatment is complete, a "pending discharge" status is indicated on a patient tracker board. This prompts the registration clerk to return to the room and speak to the patient about any insurance co-payment.
In the first 90 days following the implementation of these changes, we have reduced patient walkouts by 1.2% and have increased co-pay collections by 26%. Emergency Department and Patient Services management continue to monitor key metrics at various points in the overall workflow to help identify further opportunities for improvement. This is just one example of the many benefits our organization has realized from leveraging appropriate technology in our Lean process improvement initiatives.
Scott Mace is senior technology editor at HealthLeaders Media.
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