Are overcrowded emergency rooms (ERs) a sign of poor capacity management?
Patients are almost always expected to wait long hours in overcrowded emergency room for treatment—causing patients more distress and adding a greater risk of being exposed to other infections. It begs the question whether there really has been an increase in the number of patients in every hospital or hospitals just need a better solution to manage its patient flow?While managing the flow of patients within the hospital, whether it is handing a patient from one department to another or simply coordinating their discharge, nurses and hospital personnel shouldn’t have to face pressure to manage demand and handle customer expectations.
Due to the lack of demand forecasting tools being used within the healthcare industry, front line staff suffer from zero visibility into real-time information flow and demand trends to be able to prepare and manage patient flow more efficiently, which regrettably leads to dissatisfied patients, poor capacity utilization, loss in revenue, and damaged reputation.
How Analytics help with demand forecasting and proactive capacity planning
With powerful advanced analytics, healthcare organizations can forecast patient demand and optimally utilize limited resources. Having access to insights on data like patient volume, patient’s Average Length of Stay (ALOS), staff productivity, equipment utilization, bed occupancy status, and disease trends allow front line staff to easily allot the required resources to incoming patients and avoid patient congestions.
Instead of adding more resources to tackle overcrowded emergency rooms, Advanced Analytics can identify the root cause behind the delay and wait times in emergency departments.
Benefits of Analytics in capacity planning
Advanced analytics helps healthcare organizations implement effective capacity strategies. Benefits of the analytical strategy in healthcare include, among others:
- Reduce length of stay
- Manage admission volumes
- Reduce ED wait times
- Increase bed turnover
- Achieve timely discharge
- Improve patient satisfaction
- Better utilization of hospital resources
- Improved hospital reputation