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THROUGHPUT: How to improve patient care processes

Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center (Toledo, OH, 445 beds) was able to cut costs by over $70 million and decrease average length of stay by nearly one full day by undertaking an organization-wide operations improvement initiative called “Patients First: Journey to Zero.”  The area in which the largest savings were realized was in the category of productivity of non-nursing areas.  The initiative began with an analysis of the inpatient stay and an identification of eight milestones of care.  While individual departments were found to be performing well, there was room for improvement in coordination of care between functional areas (in the “white space”).

Source: Platzke, S.M., and Andrabi, I.A.  Focusing on white space to improve patient throughput.  HFM. Healthcare Financial Management;66(8):102-106, 108, Aug. 2012.  Click here for the publisher’s website: http://www.hfma.org/Templates/InteriorMaster.aspx?id=33695  Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422.2050, rc@aha.org

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