Patient Throughput

When a child requires immediate specialized pediatric care, nothing can be more frustrating for a family or referring physician than prolonged wait times or problems with admissions and transfers. The Patient Throughput Department at Valley Children’s Hospital serves as a catalyst to help facilitate and direct patients through the Hospital, expediting patient care. 

Unique to Patient Throughput at Valley Children’s is centralized decision making, by Patient Throughput Managers who have the autonomy and empowerment in decision making to improve the efficiency of patient flow. Our Patient Throughput Managers help drive the process of moving patients through the Hospital, ensuring that patients receive the care they need. Combined with state-of-the art technology integrated into our bed management process, Valley Children’s is a leader in providing effective and efficient Patient Throughput.

Patient Throughput Benefits

The benefits of Patient Throughput at Valley Children’s include:

  • Lower number of patients that leave the Emergency Department (ED) without treatment (LWOTs), less than 3.2%
  • Lower number of Patient Declines and Diversions
  • Shorter waits in the ED (a 30% reduction in wait time)
  • Decreased Patient Throughput Time
  • Fewer ED patients waiting for inpatient beds
  • Increased ED customer satisfaction (a customer satisfaction score in the top 20% of pediatric ED’s nationwide)

Enhanced Patient Throughput at Children’s             

Patient Throughput Center – Admissions are managed through our Patient Throughput Center, one of the integral components of Patient Throughput at Valley Children’s. Our Patient Throughput Center centralizes the patient referral process, overseeing all incoming calls for patient referrals for admission into the Hospital.

Transport Services – As part of the Patient Throughput Center, dispatchers in our Transport Center control referral base calls for admissions and ED transfers. Once the decision to transfer a patient to Valley Children’s Hospital is made, our Medical Transport Team can be dispatched to safely transport the patient to Valley Children’s.

House Resource Pool – Sufficient, experienced, Valley Children’s pediatric medical staff are flexible to handle any and all pediatric medical conditions.

Patient Throughput Managers – One of the integral components of Patient Throughput at Valley Children’s, Patient Throughput Managers effectively manage patient throughput across the continuum of care to maximize patient access. An important part of their job is to anticipate needs. They facilitate and manage admission, transfer and discharge processes to ensure efficient patient throughput 24 hours a day.

Centralized decision making by Patient Throughput Managers:

  • Collaborates to make bed assignment
  • Attends Virtual Conferences
  • Dispatches Transport Team
  • Interacts with physicians
  • Leads bed briefings
  • Problem solves with Unit/Hospital leaders
  • Use electronic bed management system and bed board to anticipate and resolve bottlenecks.

Case Management – With focused efforts on the care coordination and discharge management of patients, Case Managers effectively and efficiently move patients through the discharge process to open up beds for additional patients.

Emergency Department – There have been numerous system enhancements in the ED to expedite patient throughput including:

  • Increased ED bed capacity
  • Streamlined triage process
  • Implementation of a 6-bed minor care area which expedites care for lower acuity patients
  • ED physician and staff role and activity realignment to support patient throughput

As a result of these interventions patients are experiencing significantly reduced wait times from when they arrive in the ED until they are seen by a physician. Customer satisfaction is at an all time high in the ED.

Patient Throughput Tools

Virtual Conference Room – Our Virtual Conferencing allows referring physicians, requesting a bed or consultation for their patient, to have telephone conference calls with the accepting physician, the Charge Nurse on the receiving unit, and the Patient Throughput Manager simultaneously, reducing the frequency of calls referring physicians need to make in order to admit a patient. This facilitates efficient decision-making regarding the appropriateness, location and time of admissions.

Electronic Bed Management System (software) – Our Patient Throughput Managers utilize an electronic bed management system allowing timely access to information for decision making. It gives them the ability to look at the Hospital globally Premise allows real-time access to current information on all bed status and patient attributes for bed control including:

  • Displays total bed occupancy
  • Shows a floorplan view of hospital units
  • Color coding indicates status of each bed
  • Shows when a patient is due to be discharged and whether the bed has been reserved
  • Lists incoming patients including estimated arrival times and medical information