Here are some tips to help you manage and improve patient flow.
1. Chart Your Flow
Creating a chart flow is the must-do thing when it comes to improving patient flow. This can be done in two ways. You can use flow mapping as well as cycle time measurement options. The benefit will be huge, the whole system will know the patient flow and react accordingly.
2. Patient Destination Signs
Most of the new patients don’t know where to go, where to submit fees, where to find the doctors, where the labs (for example RIS radiology) are located and such other things. There should be clear signage pattern system to help out patients and people with them so that they can easily find the relevant department.
3. Avoid Bottlenecks
Bottlenecks are what cause hindrance to the patient flow. There can be long queues of patients at the admission counter, the banking staff may not be doing well, the labs may have a lot of people waiting for their turns. There are certain areas which cause delay and such bottlenecks must be addressed and avoided.
4. Plan for Patient Waiting
There should also be a system for patients to wait. Hospitals should create sports and sitting areas for the patients so that they can relax when they are waiting for their turns. Such things offer great help for the patient flow.
5. Assign a Patient Flow Leader
This is the most important thing. There should be a head or leader who deals with the patient flow. The person should be responsible to ensure better patient flow, remove issues, deal with things causing delay, delegate tasks and appoint staff when one is missing.
6. Use New Technology and Tools
The use of electronic health records system and such other technological tools like RIS radiology information system is of great help in improving patient flow. These systems provide better output in lesser time. Patients will be satisfied, staff will feel relaxed and the patient flow will be better managed.
7. Train Your Staff for Better Management
The staff should also be trained to deal with workload, pressure at peak hours and how to manage more work. Capacity building is an integral part of hospital staff training.
8. Integrate All Departments
The departments in a hospital must be integrated. For example, when a patient is being shifted from emergency to radiology, the new ward and RIS radiology should be ready and prepare to welcome the patient. This should be with every other department in the hospitals.
9. Create a Parking Lot
Some experts also recommend to create a parking lot for better management of patient flow. The patients should have place to park their vehicles when they have to wait to get the reports.
10. Develop Sense of Accountability
Everyone in the patient flow system must be accountable for their tasks. If there are issues at the end of one person, he or she should be warned and removed if the issue remains and is not resolved. Focus should be to improve patient flow.