More and more, hospitals and clinics have to allow an extended stays for patients. But research shows that patients are significantly more likely to develop hospital-acquired infections. Longer hospital stays and readmitted patients have a great health risk due to infections that are spread around these healthcare institutions.
This is also a quality indicator for the health care business. It means that they’re failing stands, which could then, in turn, mean penalties such as fines or lack of government funding. Since this is a major deal for a health care organization, here are some ways you can reduce your patient’s length of stay.
Communication Between Staff and Patients
Regardless of the LOS, these healthcare institutions will still need to communicate with the patients. Case management could play a major role in this. This is going to help both the institution and the patient progress.
Implement Process Changes
Some common causes of extended LOS would be the fact that there is misalignment happening among healthcare workers. It’s important to use and understand the data within the organization and how the process alone could be approved. Plus, inconsistent improvement tactics seem to be a very common cause too. One way that these facilities could combat this is to work towards creating governance, a program that can implement clinical processes and standards. Potentially, even something such as Passavant Development Corporation could be of a lot of help when implementing process changes.
Remove Any Barriers
What are the discharge barriers that are getting in the way? Leadership must have access to data, as this could help in removing some of the barriers. Plus, this could reveal more opportunities to help shorten the LOS. Team leaders need to have access to user-friendly dashboards that contains the needed information.
High readmission rates and long lengths of stay can indeed create steep financial penalties for hospitals and clinics. This needs to be avoided, so improving the care transitions could be a way to help. This could include something such as additional monitoring in after-care.
Emphasize The Patient Placement
In a high-risk population such as the elderly, the five “R’s” need to be put into place. This includes:
- The right level of care
- Right nursing unit
- Right service
- Right period
- Right bed
Discharge The Patients ASAP
The entire healthcare team needs to be on the same level and have the same state of mind. So, what should that be? It should be about helping patients, giving them what they need as soon as possible, and helping the patients reach discharge as quickly as possible. There seems to be an issue of these healthcare institutions keeping patients longer than what is actually necessary. The traditional model for most institutions, especially hospitals, is discharging patients early in the day, particularly in the morning.
So this means that a patient needs to stay longer than what is needed. On top of that, since a lot of these institutions, particularly hospitals, are operating 24/7, this doesn’t seem to be in the patient’s best interest to let them out only during a certain part of the day. It would be an effective practice to extend these hours.