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Cost of a slow discharge process

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  • #25524

    sixsigmadeewana
    Member

    I am sure a lot of hospitals are working on their discharge processes. Has anyone actually done any cost-benefit analysis? or cost of a slow discharge process?
     

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    #61635

    GlenRN
    Participant

    Yes – because our hospital typically runs at capacity for acute care beds, we were able to easily equate the prolonged discharge process to lost revenue opportunity. 

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    #61637

    Roger Noble
    Member

    There are quite a few approaches to this ranging from using hospital specific expenses to using industry generalized information. Either one gives you a good working point to start from, one is more accurate but sometimes not easily accessible. The base concept to consider is what area you are reviewing, the expenses related need to be specific to that area. Don’t use general expenses for the hospital if you are only looking at the OutPatient area. In addition, expenses go beyond caring for a patient, they go to the OPPORTUNITY COST… or the loss of revenue from other patients/throughput due to slowed/delayed admissions caused by the backup in the discharge process.

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    #61639

    sixsigmadeewana
    Member

    GlenRN
    Would you be willing to share any of those details with me? my email is [email protected]
    Thanks
     

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    #61640

    Hung Le
    Participant

    Depending on your disease state, insurance will only reimburse the hospital for x number of days.  If patients stay longer, the hospital will loose money.  As a baseline, when I assisted this hospital their “defect” rate was 50% going in, i.e. every patient that walks in the door, there is a 50% chance that this hospital will loose money!

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    #61644

    ch3no2RN
    Participant

    I did a six sigma project on a discharge process and we easily calculated the cost/benefit by looking at increased LOS and cost per patient day. Also, lost revenue opportunities by patients going elsewhere when being directly admitted. For ED patients waiting for a bed we calculated increased time in the ED and lost revenue for eloped patients. Discharging processes are the most important in a hospital to address if the facility is looking to streamline patient throughput. No one moves until the discharged patient leaves.

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    #61647

    Brandon
    Participant

    I find a good magazine helps the slow discharge problem.

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    #61650

    BritW
    Participant

    sixsigmadeewana:
    We also do the same measurements as mentioned by ch3 and hung lee.  Your resource management group or finance should be able to provide you with a length of stay analysis that shows the impact of additional fractional days in terms of dollars.  You should be able to determine an average revenue (be conservative since finance usually likes that) and use that as a measure for LWBS.  You can also find out the cost per day (provided by the LOS analysis) and use that to determine how much you actually lose when a patient stays longer than expected.

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