Patient safety and quality are the most critically important elements of patient care. Safety and quality cannot just be given lip service, but must be measured and monitored to ensure that they improving or at least not declining. Many health institutions have regular monitoring of KPIs (key performance indicators) for patient safety and performance quality.
In fact, Medicare and Medicaid require that certain measures, such as specific mortality and readmission rates, are reported regularly and often made public. This is a bit like restaurant public health inspection ratings that can draw people in if they’re high or make them shy away—as from the plague—if they’re low.
Without referring providers, many healthcare facilities would find themselves with numerous empty beds and idle medical experts, rapidly on the way to financial decline. Fortunately, referring providers do exist, and the cooperation between primary care providers and hospital facilities can provide the best possible healthcare for patients with serious or chronic medical conditions.
In healthcare, as in any organization, one of the major keys to success is the ability to retain qualified staff. Not only do engaged and capable employees deliver more discretionary effort to the business, but they also present a positive image of the organization to patients and their families and friends.
In the very competitive healthcare field, keeping trained staff members is crucial to avoiding employee overwork and burnout as well as the high costs of sourcing, hiring, and onboarding new employees. At year-end 2016, average hospital turnover rate was 16.2% as reported in the annual NSI Nursing Solutions, Inc. survey. Financial impact to the organization adds up quickly when “the average cost of turnover for a bedside RN ranges from $38,900 to $59,700 resulting in the average hospital losing $5.13M to $7.86M, annually.”
What is the pacemaker in a healthcare facility? Not a medical pacemaker device, but instead the process step that determines the rate of patient throughput. For most surgical hospitals, it is the operating room (OR). The number of patients in admissions, pre-op, post-op, waiting rooms, hospital beds, and on the road back home ties largely to the flow rate or patient cycle time through the operating room.
To some extent, the throughput of your healthcare facility can be measured based on “bodies on beds.” As in hotel operations, if you’re seeing low occupancy of your beds, you may not be pulling in the required revenue to cover your fixed operating costs.
Given that consideration, one of the key efforts that you may need to pursue to improve operational performance is to get a new patient into a bed or room as quickly as possible after the prior patient is able to be discharged. This process is known as patient room turnover.
Many organizations have started to recognize the benefits of achieving operational excellence, which is the process of building a sustainable competitive advantage through operations management. While leaders understand that operational excellence can have a positive effect on their organizations, there's still some confusion around measuring the success of their operational excellence programs.
Tags: Operational Excellence
When I asked one of the 2014 Industry Week Best Plants leaders the percentage of full time resources assigned to continuous improvement at his plant, his response was “everyone,” and he looked at me quizzically. “No, I realize everyone should be involved in CI work,” I replied, “But how many are fully devoted, dedicated resources?” He shook his head and still insisted they really didn’t look at continuous improvement support that way.
Tags: Continuous Improvement
We at EON have been fortunate to work with a number of premier companies across a variety of industries. Two industries where we’ve done considerable work are chemicals/petro-chemicals and heavy process, which has allowed us to learn quite a bit about what it takes to make continuous improvement relevant and sustainable in environments that tend to be highly asset intensive. As one consultant I know once put it, it’s important to understand how CI works at a facility that is mostly pipes, vats and tanks. So, here are 3 tips for applying CI to the process industries.
Tags: Continuous Improvement