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Patient Flow/Throughput

In complex systems such as hospital care delivery, service quality and efficiency depend on the ability to consistently align resources with patient demand. That challenge becomes even greater when the demand is highly variable and ineffectively managed.

When demand and capacity are not aligned, hospitals face overcrowded facilities, waste and inefficiencies. Overcrowding in the emergency department as well as in other service areas, nursing stress, medical errors, increased mortality, delays, cancellations, readmissions and underutilization of existing resources can all be attributed in large measure to how hospitals schedule procedures and admissions and to poor management of patient flow.

The stress caused by uncontrolled and unpredictable peaks in patient demand can overwhelm service providers and often creates working conditions in which quality care is difficult, if not impossible, to deliver.

New Jersey providers are being trained in the application of the Institute for Healthcare Optimization's (IHO) Variability Methodology™ in order to implement organizational and system efficiencies through the principles of operations management. Flow management methodologies are designed to comprehensively identify and characterize artificial and natural variability in complex health delivery settings and properly manage the different types of patient demand variability that are imposed on the system will be utilized as part of the system efficiency efforts.