Waiting to Wait Some More

"Why the pursuit of No Wait States" is Essential

Patients wait to be admitted.  Doctors wait for test results.  Patients wait for treatment.  Rooms wait to be cleaned.  Nurses wait for doctors.  Doctors wait for equipment.  Patients wait for transport.  Families wait for news. Patients wait to be discharged.  Everyone waits for someone or something.

Waiting is pervasive in healthcare today.  A bird’s eye view of care delivery in most hospitals might resemble the start-stop quality of our nation’s busiest expressways:  discrete instances of productive movement (a patient is triaged, a bed is filled, labs arrive, a nurse gives medication instructions, surgery begins) separated by lengthy “wait states” in which value-add activities come to halt as the operational systems grind, trying to keep pace with demand.

Waiting is symptomatic of not only the complexity of care delivery, but also the complex processes and disparate systems used to coordinate that care.  Too often, wait states have become the status quo to the frustration of patients, physicians, nurses, and administrators.

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Driving out Waste Through Real-Time Awareness

Challenging healthcare economics have led hospitals and health systems to take a fresh look at operational performance as a driver of financial stress. Determined to "do more with less," leaders search for ways to make that equation work while preserving or improving the quality and safety of care delivery. 

Enabled by GE Healthcare’s Hospital Operations Management solution (powered by AgileTrac), many hospitals have found a way. By combining real-time patient flow data and smarter discharge processes, a 400-bed acute care facility in Florida realized:

  • 3,156 hours of reduction in discharge time over nine months—a savings of $328K in SWB
  • 68% or 12,202 hours of reduction in emergency department (ED) hold hours over that same period
  • Shorter lag time between discharge and patient pickup, with most ambulatory patients on their way in about 30 minutes

These achievements are all the more telling given that this hospital’s census continues to rise, the average patient age is 74 years-old, and 85% of admissions come through the ED.

Read the full case study here

Patient Flow

Having invested years ago in its EMR and data warehousing capabilities, another hospital believed they had three legs of their competitive stool built. The third, however, was perhaps most important; a real-time system to manage care operations. Result after implementation of a GE enabled Hospital Operations Management solution

Result after implementation of a GE enabled Hospital Operations Management solution

  • Average ER-to-inpatient bed wait time down from 16.2 hrs to 2
  • Average wait time for "ASAP" equipment delivery down from 202 minutes to 12. For "routine" equipment, it's down from 184 minutes to 14.
  • Realized an estimated $1.2M savings, and admits those savings are just the beginning

Learn more about this Northeastern hospital’s success


Knowing the benefits, the solution is now clear.

Real-time data enables immediate intervention. Aventura Hospital struggled with patient flow bottlenecks and high ED holding hours. Asked by leaders to implement a new patient tagging system, Aventura saw it as an opportunity to attack these long-standing issues, according to Chief Nursing Officer Karen Bibbo, RN, BS, MBA.

Learn More About The Aventura Experience


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