“Where Did You Just Come From?”: The Words No Patient Should Hear

Sometimes when we talk about logistics for patient care, it can seem impersonal. These are human beings; can we really apply production methodology to their healthcare? For me the answer lies in this question, from nurse to patient: “Where did you just come from?” What could frustrate a patient more? Shouldn’t the people providing my care know where I came from and what I need next? And it’s no better for the dedicated but stressed nurse, trying to provide the best care possible without always knowing what’s happening to which patient, where and when. Questions such as “Did you have your MRI yet?” are symptoms that operational chaos and poor communication are winning, at the expense of patients and caregivers. So for me, well-coordinated patient throughput–using logistical controls–makes care far more compassionate and satisfying for everyone. Our CTO at Care Logistics, Jim Rosenblum, likes to cite the “Where did you come from?” question when discussing the concept of Order Logistics. To eliminate that frustrating question, hospitals need more than systems for just entering or scheduling orders and services. Hospitals must:

  • Makes uncertain things predictable—who’s next, why, are they ready, what do they need from whom, when
  • Address service delivery from request to result
  • Deliver appropriate, on-time services according to updated order and patient status information
  • Centralize and standardize coordination, priority and queuing
  • Let nurses, service areas, physicians, patients and families see patient events, availability and plan
  • Always links service priority and delivery to reducing length of stay

This level of coordination among physicians, nursing areas and service areas accelerates time from order to results, helping reduce length of stay. It also frees lab and service technicians from administrative tasks and drives positive patient outcomes, sooner. And most importantly, it makes patients, doctors, nurses and families more informed and much happier.

POSTED BY Doug Walker

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