A solution that focusses on improved efficiency in consultations!? Help!? Too often, that means the creation of additional stress and adding workload to staff. Intelligent patient flow management does focus on the increase of efficiency, but it does this by providing support for physicians and nursing staff. How you can accomplished this? Find out in this article.
First, lets provide a short overview of some basic and easy to grasp aids. The coming and going of patients for a consultation can be quite unpredictable!? That is certainly true for medical disciplines with consultations that involve examinations. Though, it can also be valid for consultations that are relatively straightforward. It sometimes comes down to pretty trivial facts: Is the patient in time? Could the patient be a no-show? Or is the patient just a bit late? Is the patient stuck at the medical imaging department?
Any patient flow management solution with a little bit of intelligence is able to keep track of these processes. The software itself will be smart enough to know what it has to do with the patient. The patient of 10 AM will simply not be called, if the patient is not there in the waiting room. Only when the patient is there, the application will call the patient. Next, it will take into account prior appointments or late comers. Also, in a smart way, it can fill up the “gaps” between different appointments.
Stepping up with medical process knowledge
Why are we able to do this so well? Intelligent patient flow managers will take into account medical pathways. Also check out the picture on top with a pulmonology example: the solution knows how it needs to handle a consultation with a lung function test.
The process intelligence knows what are the fixed steps for a certain type of appointment. And it knows what are the steps where physicians/nursing will take a choice for additional tests.
For each of the medical disciplines, a tailored decision tree is made. That happens in the background processing, as well as in the front-end view of the user interface of the software.
At first, physicians and nursing staff are usually sceptic about software automatically organising this entire flow autonomously. Looking at our actual implementations though, it is quite rare that physicians/nurses explicitly want to intervene in the process. In the vast majority of cases, it turns out the software handles this process extremely well.
Capacity management as a result
So, in short, as
- the patient flow management has the knowledge about medical paths ;
- it allows physicians/nurses to indicate examinations and automatically change individual medical steps for a patient ;
- at all times, there is a real-time view of the current situation of the consultation. Not for 1 physician or ward, but for the entire polyclinic.
It offers the solution all knowledge of the different “rooms” in the wards. Sharing a plaster room, an echo-bicycle room, a gynaecology nursing post, a holter room… The solution will share the capacity resources between all these items automatically. As always, as per the priority criteria set by the hospital, it will organize which patients to call where.
All of this allows physicians and nursing staff to focus on medical care. The task of keeping track of all these other things can be handled by patient flow management.
When Partheas started with this type of software, we had never thought of the following effects that hospitals signal
- Especially in the departments with a high turnover of patients, nursing staff indicates their task has become less demanding physically.
- Crowded waiting rooms turn out to be much less noisy and much less nervous.
Overall, making it a nicer working environment for those involved.
This is an article (2 out of 7) in the series “Why would a hospital have (no) intelligent patient flow management?“. Interested to find out more, also check out this page. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us via our contact page or write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.