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Survey Finds Patient Flow Picture Flawed

November 13, 2007
by root
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Fifty-eight percent of U.S. healthcare executives surveyed say their facilities do not have the ability to track patient flow continuously and 53 percent rated the efficiency of their facilities' bed-turn process as poor or fair, according to Atlanta-based StatCom's 2007 National Survey on Patient Throughput and Capacity Challenges.

The report indicates healthcare facilities are still transitioning from old methods of patient throughput management to new, technologically advanced patient flow and tracking systems. Sixty-seven percent report phone calls and voice messages are still the most common way patient tracking information is made available to admitting staff. Though 92 percent say they have incorporated process improvements, 50 percent say they have yet to incorporate a patient flow system.

Survey results showed that the discharge process continues to be a common bottleneck (60 percent), followed by critical care (58 percent) and telemetry (48 percent). Those surveyed say the most common approaches to reducing length-of-stay are case management (86 percent) and process improvement efforts (76 percent). Healthcare executives say physician delays were the most common factor having a "major impact" on length of stay (46 percent).

Results of the study can be downloaded at

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