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January 27, 2011

Improve Productivity, Labor Practices: Assess Your Facility's Nursing Unit Report Process

Like exercise, process improvement is a discipline and a habit. Day-to-day time limitations often sidetrack managers from reviewing clinical and administrative processes, but improvement is crucial for long-term viability.  One area in hospital operations that is largely untouched is reducing the cost of delivering safe, quality health care.  New thinking about employee productivity, case management, and lean processes and policies can lower the cost of running a healthcare facility.  With some guidance, hospital leaders can makeover their organizations into leaner, faster, and overall better organizations with sustainable improvements.

Report Productivity Process
Three factors than can impact the report productivity process include:

                 -  Streamlined approach
                 -  Continuity of patient care
                 -  Effective nurse to nurse communication

Streamlined Approach
"Bundling" or grouping a set of patient assignments based on the acuity of the patients ensures patients are evenly assigned to nurses and that the smooth transfer of the "bundle" of patients to the next nurse on duty is efficient and timely.

Continuity of Patient Care
Having the necessary medical information ready at the shift change enables the leaving nurse to attend to the patient while the on-coming nurse familiarizes themselves with the case.

Nurse-to-Nurse Communication
Creating a bedside report is ideal and by bundling patients and handing off to one nurse, this will allow nurse-to-nurse bedside reporting to occur as the last portion of the shift change report process.

In the end, planning for success and involving workers in the process increases the prospect of achieving savings.  The most significant aspect of any healthcare facility is the people. Without
the right people, it is hard for facilities to produce top-quality, efficient care with high patient, employee, and physician satisfaction scores.  Productivity gains should come from everyone at the hospital so there is a surge of support and a hospital-wide commitment to improvement.

To learn more, read the full article, Improve Productivity, Labor Practices.

If you missed previous articles, be sure to read about cost efficiency/cost containment strategies and tips in the Dollars & Sense Archives.

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