This is part 2 of our 2-part series exploring the length of stay problem in hospitals in the United States. In our previous post, we covered why hospitals are struggling to discharge patients, why post-acute care is critical to the solution, and whether automated bed availability is a viable answer to the problem.
Today’s post explores solutions hospitals can deploy to transition patients more efficiently and reduce discharge delays to post-acute care.
1. Communication Tools
By improving the lines of communication between hospitals and post-acute care facilities, case managers can drastically reduce time spent initiating inappropriate referrals, playing phone tag, and following up on lost and unanswered requests.
“Through Strata Search, we create two-way communication between hospitals and providers. Our advanced delivery infrastructure gives post-acute care facilities the option to send a message to a specific hospital or broadcast it widely to all the hospitals in their area,” explains Strata Health’s Senior Vice President & General Manager, Marmmett Horton, MSW, ACM-SW.
“We have seen Skilled Nursing Facilities send messages that say, ‘I have 4 COVID-positive beds available for admissions today,’ for example,” continues Marmmett. “On the flip side, hospitals can send out a blast to all the Skilled Nursing Facilities in their area to ask a question, rather than calling each facility one by one.”
Alerts are received instantly and can be responded to using the system’s built-in communication tools. With faster and more equitable updates, hospitals and post-acute care facilities can quickly identify bed availability for a very specific type of patient and can work together to fill the vacancy on a first-come, first-serve basis.
2. Best-Fit Matching Technology
When dealing with more complex patients, it’s not uncommon for Case Managers to blast referral requests to as many providers as possible. Unfortunately, manually reviewing complex requests requires many sets of eyes and clinical expertise, which creates a lot of busy work.
Strata Health’s Best-fit technology can help Case Managers determine whether a provider is a match for a patient before initiating a referral. Before recommending an appropriate match, the solution considers several factors, like patient needs, provider capabilities, performance outcomes, and more.
“We’re all familiar with providers in our area, but when you have a stroke patient who needs to go to a Skilled Nursing Facility, the provider you know may not have the best outcomes for this specific type of patient,” Marmmett explains. “If we can look at where diagnostic groups have the best outcomes, it can speed up the process and reduce all the noise that occurs when you’re desperate to find a bed for your patient.”
“When facilities receive consistent clinical information about patients in a standardized format, it makes the review much faster. Best-fit technology creates trust between hospitals and post-acute care providers, and allows everyone to work more efficiently, with less back and forth and fewer delays.”
3. Automate Workflows and Standardize Information Sharing
Process automation is a compelling way to generate operational efficiency, reduce errors, and save valuable resources. At Strata Health, we work with hospitals to determine what clinical information needs to be shared every single time. The system is programmed to pull all that clinical information in automatically as soon as a Case Manager clicks “Start Referral.”
Automating this process significantly reduces time spent manually locating information, printing, scanning, and faxing it on to downstream providers. At the click of a button, all the required data is pulled into the referral. Post-acute care providers benefit from a complete picture of each patient and can respond more quickly, without having to go back and forth requesting additional information. This is just one example of the many processes in the transition of care workflow that can be automated to free providers up to spend less time on redundant administrative tasks and more time on patient care.
Contact Strata Health Today
Strata Health’s digital tools and automated solutions reduce length of stay by streamlining transition of care workflows from hospital to post-acute care. To learn more, contact us.