How to run an efficient hospital

By: Yolanda Smith, MedicalSearch Writer
09 February, 2016

The hospital environment is constantly bustling with activity and it continues to have its challenges in providing optimal patient care to each individual with the limited resources available.

The ideal solution is to find methods that are able to make the most of what it has.

However, this is not an easy task. Most health professionals working in hospitals are already short on time and improving efficiency without compromising on the quality of patient care can be a challenge. Here are some tips:

Automate Patient Flow

Advancements in technology have enabled the automation of repetitive processes that historically required a significant amount administration time. The turnover of patients from admission to discharge is a continuous workflow, and it is common for time and hospital bed space to be wasted due to ineffective procedures.

Automating these processes in the emergency department has been shown to increase flow and improve turnover time, correlating to up to 20% more bed space without any additional physical space. This includes automatically assigning bed space according to availability and patient priority, which minimising decision-making time and optimises action.

Use Lean Business Approach

Adopting approaches that have proven to be effective in a business environment can be used to help to improve efficiency in the hospital.

An example of this includes small alterations to the medical team rounds of the hospital to check up on each patient. Historically, the check-ins had considerable time constraints, and there was often insufficient time for adequate decisions to be made. By dividing the medical team into two groups and separating the patients evenly among them, more time could be dedicated to each patient, and there was no evident reduction in quality of care.

Read more about this approach to improve hospital efficiency here.

Review Work Processes

Despite the effort you put in to increase the efficiency of the hospital, further improvement can always be made. For this reason, it is important to continuously reconsider the workflow in the hospital to identify areas that can be enhanced.

The staff working in the hospital are most familiar with the current work processes and often have the valuable ideas for possible improvement. Team meetings to address these issues and work towards more efficient solutions are key to improving this area. Even small issues can make a big difference over time when a simple solution can be implemented.