This is an element that to date has not been highlighted substantially, but we stand to hear a lot more about Patient Flow Software in the future.  As hospitals merge, go out business, etc. the number of hospitals in the US is not rising.  I can’t remember the last time I read about a “new hospital” opening other than new building or facilities being constructed for existing hospitals. 

The obvious benefit is to also have such systems, with some including RFID features and other technologies, to interact with the medical records system, and thus one more reason for hospitals to have an EHR system in place.  Without one and relying on paper, some of the combined options just are not there for the facility to take advantage of.  Allscripts imageand McKesson are two vendors that offer Patient Flow software that works with medical records system.  In addition Microsoft has software designed for the same thing.  While they all might be a little different in format, the end goal is to improve patient flow and productivity.  You could also look forward to others such as Cerner, Epic and others to integrate such solutions or modules in their electronic medical records if they are not already there by now.

In addition, the software has predictive analytics capabilities, such as seeing what the busiest hours in the emergency room might be and what the average wait time is.  This can be effective with staffing at heavier hours or less during those hours when traffic might be lighter.  Patient Flow software does indeed make sense as either an add on module from an EHR vendor or as software as a service to add to existing medical records.

Also expect to see mobile capabilities with software too as mobility is what part of the equation is all about in tracking the patient through the entire process and making sure “they don’t get lost” or accidentally dropped temporarily from the workflow and that can and does happen without a system that checks to ensure everything is moving as it should be.


BURLINGTON, VT – Optimizing patient flow throughout various healthcare settings continues to be a critical objective for hospitals, with nearly a third of industry officials planning to invest in patient flow solutions.

 

According to CapSite’s “2012 U.S. Patient Flow Study” released Tuesday, some 31 percent of U.S. hospitals indicated their intentions to purchase patient flow solutions to address the current patient crowding bottleneck effect seen in hospital departments nationwide.