22 March 2013

WE KNOW A LOW LENGTH OF STAY TIME IS IMPORTANT TO YOUR HOSPITAL AND YOUR PATIENTS

Even if your ED happens to be the worst in the system, Sheridan Healthcare has experience in improving your emergency department. At one South Florida hospital, ED patients were experiencing substantial delays in being admitted to the hospital. Length of stay time averaged 289 minutes, which led to unnecessary anxiety for patients and delayed access to care.

As a believer in continuous improvement, Sheridan defined the problem, selected a team with a variety of roles and received a complete set of lean resources before they involved every team member to come up with ways to better the system.

In particular, the team focused on reduction of waste, lead times and cycle times. Examination of the future state value stream map found that 60 minutes could be reduced from the process through standardization of certain elements.

As a result, the facility improved in all of the focus areas. “In bed” to “physician greet” saw a 50% reduction in wait time. Overall average LOS dropped from 289 minutes to 243. But the best improvement was obvious when the facility, which had been tagged as “worst in the system,” for its average LOS received regular postings as “best in the system.”

Is your emergency department best in the system? What areas need improvement? What areas does your hospital flourish in? To learn more about what Sheridan Healthcare can do to improve your emergency department, view the full emergency department wait time case study.