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Best practices in optimizing patient flow using RTDC

The Joint Commission added an accreditation standard in 2004 that prompted many hospitals to establish flow committees to try out approaches to improving hospitalwide patient flow.  Two years later, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), began to develop a formal, structured approach called real-time demand capacity management (RTDC).  This article describes implementation of the RTDC approach at UPMC Shadyside (Pittsburgh), a 526-bed teaching hospital, beginning with the neurosurgery intensive care unit.  The project was successful in increasing the reliability of discharge predictions and decreasing the need to hold surgical patients overnight in the postanesthesia care unit.  Among the other results was a drop in the percent of emergency patients who left without being seen (from 1.5 percent to 0.5 percent.)

What I like about this article:  1.) The authors are with IHI.    2.) They give a detailed description of the four steps in the RTDC process.

Source: Resar, R., and others.  Using real-time demand capacity management to improve hospitalwide patient flowThe Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety;37(5):217-227, May 2011.  Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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