Two changes that allow growing patient volume without negative impact [4-min. video]

Now more than ever, growing patient volume is critical to the health of your business. But what happens when your patient volume increases and nothing else changes? Chances are you’ll experience more variability, and your operation may suffer from increased wait times and potential safety concerns.

Nordic Director of Optimization Solutions Rick Shepardson went to the white board to sketch out this balancing act and offer two important changes that will allow you to grow patient volume without the negative impacts.

After watching, consider a deeper dive with this white paper. 

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Two changes that allow growing patient volume without negative impact


Video Transcript

Hello again and welcome to our latest installment on supply and demand in healthcare.

As you may remember, we were talking about queueing theory and how it applies to overall capacity management and patient demand. As we talked about last time, understanding how patient referrals and increased retention impact your target point.

There's this point where as you care for more and more patients, you reach your capacity, your ability to provide care while also managing outcomes and patient safety. As you've increased patient referrals and retention, you've also increased variability and volume. What that means is that the line has moved to the left. It's gone up and to the left because of the variability and the volume again.

You, as an organization, if you keep this up, your patient's are not going to stick around. They're going to have increased wait time, they're going to have decreased satisfaction. All of a sudden, all of that work you did to increase referrals and retention has gone out the window. How do you bring this target back in line with your goals?

Thumbnail_SupplyDemand_3.jpgThere are a couple of things that you can do. One is really with standardization and when you can standardize your work flows. Either standardizing your order sets or standardizing your patient access work flows, standardizing your billing processes, you can start to get that variability moved out of the system and you start to bring this line down.

At the same time, we can start to look at, how do we increase capacity. When you talk about increasing capacity, you can always buy more doctors or increase the number of beds that you have or you can start to look at your schedules, your provider schedules. How do you maximize the number of visits that you can fit in those schedules and the visit types that are available. How do you maximize the number of beds and how you're using your in-patient beds.

As you're maximizing this capacity, what you're effectively doing is you're no longer operating at 100%, maybe you're up at 125% because you've increased your capacity by 20%. You've increased the number of visits or the number of ... maybe you've reduced length of stay. When you increase you've overall capacity, that's going to bring this line back and as you have increased your capacity and you are standardizing your work flows, you're able to get back to your target and reach that point where you have a good handle on your satisfaction and your outcomes and providing care to the number of patients that you know you want to care for. That's going to help keep you in balance.

We have a lot more material on the website that talks about how you can manage your capacity, talks about how you can increase your referrals and standardize your work flows and if you're interested, you can go take a look at those.

Thanks for your time and see you next time.

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Topics: provider efficiency

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