For years, hospitals have responded to inefficiencies by adding more resources, whereas research suggests that it is a flow problem. King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center decided to improve efficiency and enhance patient flow through improving patient discharge and reducing length of stay. Eight interventions were implemented; dedicating slots in diagnostic services for discharges, improving communication, eliminating pending exams, identifying discharges the day before, prioritizing laboratory tests, coordinating discharge medication processing and utilizing case management. 14.1% of discharges after improvement, compared to 21.7% before, experienced delays. Discharge cycle duration was reduced from 17.9 to 9.2 hours. 4.1% of discharges after improvement, compared to 14.8% before, experienced procedures delays. Procedure turnaround time was reduced from 46.9 to 15.3 hours. Average length of stay (ALOS) was reduced from 12 days to less than 10. Improving hospital efficiency is an integrated process and the responsibility of all hospital staff.
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