Healthcare News & Insights

Use data analytics to maximize patient placement

As your hospital grows and more patients seek care at your facility, managing patient placement and maximizing your capacity for care becomes a higher priority. One way to ensure patients can remain in your hospital for as long as they need to, without having a space crisis, is to use data and predictive analytics. 

Looking at past data can be helpful when trying to predict how many patients may soon be coming through your hospital, particularly in the emergency department (ED) or intensive care unit (ICU), suggests Healthcare IT News. You can also combine current data sources and streams into one easy-to-access system.

Need an example? Boston Children’s Hospital is currently using data analytics as it waits for additional buildings and venues to be constructed.

The hospital built an operational dashboard accessible to all staff members, from the C-suite to front-line staff, that would give everyone up-to-date info on hospital capacity.

Placement predictions

The dashboard includes a Predictor of Patient Placement system that helps ED staff predict which patients will be admitted and where they’ll need to be admitted.

During the initial intake for an ED visit, the system generates a great deal of data on patients. It takes that data and points out which patients will likely be having longer stays at the hospital. This model helps placement coordinators shift bed assignments and other admissions to accommodate the higher-risk patients coming in from the ED.

“Before these new data-based approaches, we’d lean on our prior experiences and, frankly, more than a little gut instinct to manage things,” said Dr. Daniel Nigrin, senior vice president and CIO at Boston Children’s Hospital. “While we’ve always had lots of historical data available, this project has allowed us to bring all those data sources together in one integrated place, and then to use that collective knowledge to look into the future in a structured, data-driven manner.”

Using your data

This may sound like a serious, time-consuming project, but there are ways to take advantage of the findings at Boston Children’s Hospital without adopting its entire model.

Your organization already has access to a lot of patient data, so start using it. Research ideas for implementing predictive analytics in your hospital, and consider hiring data experts who can develop a plan for your facility to use the data you have in ways that can improve patient care and placement.

Data and analytics are the keys to the future of better hospital management, so it’s a good idea to start looking at ways to use them now – before your facility’s left in the dust.

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