Optimizing Patient Flow: IT & Process Management for Quality Care - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  1055 Words
Date:  2023-01-19


Hospitalization process in a healthcare facility is critical, and patient flow is an essential aspect of any hospital. Hospitals can effectively integrate process management techniques as well as information technology to affect patient intake and capitalize on hospital facilities for effective clinical outcomes and quality patient care. In any patient flow interventions, information is critical, which is dependent on capture, integration, and information sharing across the different departments in the hospital.

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Information Technology and Patient Management

Process management and information technology are detrimental in redesigning patient intake to optimize effective clinical outcomes as well as maximize efficiency and hospital resources. Information management is the basis of any patient intake management, which is based on patient's information capture, integration, and sharing among various departments and staff (Staggers et al., 2011). Electronic Health Record (EHR) software is critical in creating, storing, and updating patients' information. The implementation of an EHR system in a hospital is, however, a complex matter that encompasses organizational and technical factors such as coordination and hospital structure. Grimson, Grimson & Hasselbring (2000) highlighted that implementing an information system in a hospital possess a challenge since it contains a complex set of data, including medical data and data privacy. Therefore, it is vital to include frontline hospital staff in implementing a solution since they interact with the system on a daily basis. Moreover, to ensure that patients receive excellent care, patients should provide a detailed history of their health during patient intake credentials recording. Each hospital should configure their intake module depending on the facility's workflow and processes since no facilities operate is a similar manner. Bryant, M (2018) established that approximately 60% of institutions using EHR systems in patient's intake management increased its ambulance practices' efficiency and permitted them to concentrate more on improving the patient's experience.

Bed Management

Many hospitals face an increasing challenge in the hospitalization of patients due to an increase in patients demand for quality healthcare. Bed management in hospitals is critical and requires strategic planning for adequate provision of inpatient bed. However, other factors associated to patient intake include an increase in the demand of medical staff as a result of the introduction of new and more effective technologies in the medical field such as therapeutic procedures and diagnostic tests. The demand and capacity variations in bed storage of a healthcare facility is a critical part in determining the availability of beds for new patients who need admission (Ortiga et al., 2012). Bed management is a hospital affects activities of other departments since they primarily depend on the availability of bed facilities in critical departments such as theater and emergency services (McDonagh, Smith & Goddard, 2000). Hence, effective service delivery on patient intake it is essential to improve bed storage management in all hospital departments.

The critical element is bed management, and patient intake cannot work effectively if it is planned for average demand and a certain level of spare capacity in various instances to cope with challenging situations. However, Allder, Silvester & Walley (2010) highlighted that more beds are not a solution to the problem since an increase in the number of beds ignores the need to improve bed management through controlling of discharges and admissions as well as management of the period of stay. When the bed is increased, a significant proportion of bed facility is still wasted and a basis to improve on bed use without adverse influencing patients care and quality of care. Therefore, it is suggested that a suitable bed stock is detrimental to attain the natural impacts of variation are included, and the behaviors of patient information are appropriately understood. Howell et al. (2008) conducted research involving a 335-bed level II trauma center with the majority of admissions in the emergency department and hypothesized that moving patients from the emergency department into hospital beds would significantly reduce overcrowding in the hospital as well as ambulance diversion. The research established that the number of emergency department visits and well as admissions were lower during the control period and higher during active bed management intervention.

Hospitalization Process

The patient intake process is essential to commence or continue treatment journey and quickly determines the experience of patients in a hospital. The major stages involved in hospitalization include admission, inpatient, and the discharge process. Through the stages, effective data management and active bed management practices are detrimental (Allder, Silvester & Walley (2010). Patient procedures are delayed, including surgical procedures, patient intake, and admissions when the demand for bed facilities exceeds its capacity. The variations in discharge and elective admissions are the primary cause of challenges experiences in patient intake as they are more unpredictable compared to emergency admissions. Moreover, discharges cause a significant variation in the admissions process. Proper planning is essential in managing discharges such as prior planned discharge could permit optimization of bed capacities in a high demand healthcare facility. A central management strategy for all the admissions and discharges in a hospital is essential to allow a central planning technique among the various departments can create a lasting solution for a hospital.


Allder, S., Silvester, K., & Walley, P. (2010). Managing capacity and demand across the patient journey. Clinical medicine, 10(1), 13-15. doi: 10.7861/clinmedicine.10-1-13

Allder, S., Silvester, K., & Walley, P. (2010). Understanding the current state of patient flow in a hospital. Clinical Medicine, 10(5), 441-444. doi: 10.7861/clinmedicine.10-5-441

Bryant, M (2018). Most ambulatory practices see benefits of patient intake systems. https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/most-ambulatory-practices-see-benefits-of-patient-intake-systems/526848/

Grimson, J., Grimson, W., & Hasselbring, W. (2000). The SI challenge in healthcare. Communications of the ACM, 43(6), 48-55.

Howell, E., Bessman, E., Kravet, S., Kolodner, K., Marshall, R., & Wright, S. (2008). Active bed management by hospitalists and emergency department throughput. Annals of internal medicine, 149(11), 804-810.

McDonagh, M. S., Smith, D. H., & Goddard, M. (2000). Measuring appropriate use of acute beds: a systematic review of methods and results. Health policy, 53(3), 157-184. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0168-8510(00)00092-0

Ortiga, B., Salazar, A., Jovell, A., Escarrabill, J., Marca, G., & Corbella, X. (2012). Standardizing admission and discharge processes to improve patient flow: a cross sectional study. BMC health services research, 12(1), 180. https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6963-12-180

Staggers, N., Clark, L., Blaz, J. W., & Kapsandoy, S. (2011). Why patient summaries in electronic health records do not provide the cognitive support necessary for nurses' handoffs on medical and surgical units: insights from interviews and observations. Health informatics journal, 17(3), 209-223. https://doi.org/10.1177/1460458211405809

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Optimizing Patient Flow: IT & Process Management for Quality Care - Essay Sample. (2023, Jan 19). Retrieved from https://midtermguru.com/essays/optimizing-patient-flow-it-process-management-for-quality-care-essay-sample

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