How Busy Hospitals Can Improve Patient Flow

Updated on March 23, 2021
How Busy Hospitals Can Improve Patient Flow

Making patient flow better is one way hospitals can tackle efficiency problems, overcrowding, and quality of care. If a hospital can optimize this aspect of its operations, it can treat patients properly and swiftly attend to everyone’s needs. Staff members won’t face as much pressure, and the hospital can save funds by using its space effectively instead of committing to a full-scale expansion. Uncover how busy hospitals can improve patient flow with the following measures.

Provide Time Management Training

Sometimes, a hospital’s poor patient flow stems from staff members’ struggles with time management. Rather than leaving them to cope with their responsibilities alone, a hospital could provide time management training to help its professionals work efficiently, even when faced with a large number of tasks. Some topics to cover include prioritizing what to tackle first, delegating work, and creating schedules to use as foundations for each day. Hospitals should also teach staff how to use software to stay organized and access necessary information.

Identify Communication Delay Causes

Poor communication can also create delays in hospital procedures. For instance, certain staff members may not receive an immediate notification when another staff member transfers a patient to them. Plus, some parts of a hospital’s processes can realistically occur concurrently, but they don’t under the current system, wasting time. Bringing together professionals who fulfill different roles within the hospital in a meeting and having them share their perspectives can be helpful to eliminate such problems. They can identify areas where communication has been lacking and come up with solutions to address them.

Restructure the Hospital Layout

Restructuring the facility layout is a great way that busy hospitals can improve patient flow. A hospital can consider the arrangements of check-in areas, waiting rooms, and patient care rooms. It can make each room intuitive and minimize the need for staff members and patients to move back and forth excessively. For example, a hospital could keep a specific stock of supplies in each patient room so that nurses don’t need to retrieve certain items and tools as frequently. Having separate check-in and check-out areas can also prevent overcrowding. Common problems with hospital parking are also worth looking at. If a hospital sees shortages or obvious sources of inconvenience in its parking areas, it could redraw lines, reserve some spaces, and further develop its parking facilities. This can make arriving at and leaving the hospital much smoother for visitors.

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