AHA Solutions’ Patient Flow Challenges Assessment Identifies Top Hospital Patient Flow Priorities

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Hospital leaders surveyed as part of the Patient Flow Challenges Assessment identified the Discharge and Admissions patient flow stages as their top priorities in 2010.

AHA Solutions, a subsidiary of the American Hospital Association (AHA), recently announced the results of the 2010 Patient Flow Challenges Assessment (PFCA), which was conducted jointly with Hospitals in Pursuit of Excellence(HPOE) TM, the American Hospital Association’s strategic platform to accelerate performance improvement and support health reform implementation. The PFCA identifies the top patient flow challenges facing many of the nation’s hospitals.

Hospital leaders who were surveyed identified the Discharge and Admissions patient flow stages as their top priorities in 2010, while the Post-Discharge, Discharge and Home stages generated the highest levels of concern. This year’s results were presented at the recent Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) 22nd Annual National Forum on Quality Improvement in Health Care.

For the second year, AHA Solutions surveyed hospital leadership to identify specific challenges in their facilities that impact eight specific stages in the critical area of patient flow, which refers to how individuals move throughout the hospital for treatment and return home again following a visit. These obstacles, findings and issues are then compiled into the annual PFCA. The assessment is a valuable tool that assists AHA Solutions in its understanding of hospitals’ current concerns and priorities. Data generated by the

PFCA is also a critical component of the AHA endorsement process, which is used to identify process and technology solutions that will address many of the concerns identified by hospital operations professionals.

“The PFCA provides critical insights that enable AHA Solutions to not only identify products and services to overcome obstacles, but also develop impactful educational programs, guide additional research and identify best practices that will support hospitals in their quest to achieve operational excellence,” said Anthony Burke, CEO of AHA Solutions.

2010 PFCA Results Highlights
While the Discharge and Admissions patient flow stages were identified as the top patient flow priorities in 2010, participants indicated the Post-Discharge, Discharge and Home stages generate the highest average levels of concern. In fact, 10 of the top 15 individual concerns identified by hospital health leaders are within these stages. The top three specific concerns, shared by more than 70 percent of participants, were:
•Non-compliance with discharge instructions
•Inadequate communication to/from physicians
•Inability to reconcile home inpatient medications electronically

“While the Home and Post-Discharge stages of patient care are not the highest current priorities at most hospitals, they may quickly become priorities as health care reform is creating an interconnection between home care, readmission, patient flow and cash flow,” commented Burke.

The 2010 PFCA provides encouragement that patient flow challenges can be solved at all stages and the assessment results examine the challenges and solutions at a granular level at each stage of patient flow. To view or download a summary of the assessment results please visit http://www.aha-solutions.org. To obtain a copy of the 2010 Patient Flow Challenges Assessment Executive Summary please contact AHA Solutions at (800) 242-4677.

In a health care landscape that requires health care organizations to act efficiently and prudently, AHA Solutions actively assists hospitals to better understand their own situation with peer-to-peer learning. Visit http://www.aha-solutions.org for more information.

About AHA
The American Hospital Association (AHA) is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which includes nearly 5,000 hospitals and health care systems, networks, and other providers of care, and 37,000 individuals. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit http://www.aha.org.

About AHA Solutions
AHA Solutions, Inc is a resource to hospitals pursuing operational excellence. As an American Hospital Association (AHA) member service, AHA Solutions collaborates with hospital leaders and market consultants to conduct product due diligence and identify solutions to hospital challenges in the areas of finance, human resources, patient flow and technology. AHA Solutions provides related marketplace analytics and education to support product decision-making. As a subsidiary of the AHA, the organization convenes people with like interests for knowledge sharing centered on timely information and research. AHA Solutions is proud to reinvest its profits in the AHA mission: creating healthier communities. For more information, contact AHA Solutions at (800) 242-4677 or visit http://www.aha-solutions.org.

About HPOE
Hospitals in Pursuit of Excellence (HPOE) is the American Hospital Association's strategic platform to accelerate performance improvement and support health reform implementation in the nation's hospitals and health systems. HPOE, deployed by HRET in partnership with the AHA, develops evidence-based tools and guides, offers leadership development through fellowships and networks and engages hospitals in national improvement projects. Working in collaboration with allied hospital associations and national partners, HPOE synthesizes and disseminates knowledge, shares proven practices, and spreads improvement to support health reform implementation at the local level. For more information, visit http://www.hpoe.org.

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Matt Fenwick
AHA
312-422-2820
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Monique Showalter