The implementation and evaluation of the patient admission prediction tool: Assessing its impact on decision-making strategies and patient flow outcomes in 2 Australian hospitals
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Study Objectives: To evaluate the implementation of a Patient Admission Prediction Tool (PAPT) in terms of patient flow outcomes and decision-making strategies. Methods: Setting: The PAPT was implemented in 2 Australian public teaching hospitals during October-December 2010 (hospital A) and October-December 2011 (hospital B). Design: A multisite prospective, comparative (before and after) design was used. Patient flow outcomes measured included access block and hospital occupancy. Daily and weekly data were collected from patient flow reports and routinely collected emergency department information by the site champion and researchers. Results: Daily decision-making strategies ranged from business as usual to use of overcensus beds. Weekly strategies included advanced approval to use of overcensus beds and prebooking nursing staff. These strategies resulted in improved weekend discharges to manage incoming demand for the following week. Following the introduction of the PAPT and workflow guidelines, patient access and hospital occupancy levels could be maintained despite increases in patient presentations (hospital A). Conclusions: The use of a PAPT, embedded in patient flow management processes and championed by a manager, can benefit bed and staff management. Further research that incorporates wider evaluation of the use of the tool at other sites is warranted.
Quality Management in Health Care
Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified