Every year hospitals lose out on thousands of hours of valuable clinical time because clinicians are having to focus their attention away from their core competencies — so, what is the culprit?
Most of the evidence collected points back to the lack of a dedicated transport department. Healthcare facilities that do not have a transport team are faced with the challenge of utilizing their clinicians and medical staff to handle patient transports, which results in a loss of clinical time and takes away from patient care. This has a tremendous impact on patient satisfaction, left without being seen and left without treatment rates, and can create major bottlenecks in patient flow operations. However, adding a dedicated transport team within the facility can alter the patient experience creating lasting positive effects on patient throughput, as well as help increase the job satisfaction of the healthcare team.
“It is important to keep patients moving throughout the facility with less wait time, less confusion, and less stress. Anytime a nurse or clinical team member spends time transporting a patient rather than on the floor, it can greatly affect throughput times and create inefficient patient flow,” states David Kraeger, HHS President of Transportation and Linen Utilization.
“Designating a transport team to alleviate the strain that is put on the clinicians helps bring the focus back to the patient. In addition, transport departments streamline patient flow operations, help reduce emergency department hold times and clinician overtime, while also increasing the number of OR cases and radiology procedures within a facility.”
As such, patient transport teams are highly trained to help the efficiency of the throughput process. “They do not simply manage the transport process, but they actively seek ways to increase effectiveness and improve results,” continues Kraeger. “Through ongoing in-depth analysis of discharge times and patterns, transport teams can provide greater accuracy to the patient flow process. Further, by effectively measuring results and utilizing technology specific to the industry, transport teams can improve operational excellence and resolve any issues that need to be addressed quickly.”
“Technology and dedicated programs are integral to a successful transport program, but the true drivers of this change are the people. That’s why hospitality training and hiring the right people for the appropriate position are both critical to the overall patient experience,” adds Kraeger.
“When a hospital contracts with a support service provider for transport, they need to be sure that the transporters will be equipped not only with industry-leading knowledge, but they will also be trained with best practices in hospitality and customer service. This contributes to the patient experience and helps bring comfort to patients during their already trying time,” states McCuistion.
Transport teams have a unique opportunity to make a big impact on the overall satisfaction and comfort level for each patient while also collaborating with and supporting clinicians and hospital staff in the process. A dedicated transport department can mean more open schedules for clinicians and increased efficiency throughout the hospital. Additionally, transporters play a fundamental role in evaluating each step of the transport process to help improve technical components, safety protocols, and patient interaction. This small change brings about big results that are felt across the entire facility.
To learn more about HHS Patient Transportation and our industry-leading solutions, contact us.
David Kraeger — President, Patient Transportation & Linen Services
With over 25 years of healthcare experience, David Kraeger has an in-depth understanding of how support services impact patient flow. As the President of Patient Transportation and Linen Services, Kraeger creates opportunities to directly impact facility revenue by utilizing cloud technology. In addition, he helps facilities to increase their efficiency by transforming weak areas in system processes. Through improved reporting, notifications, and labor management, Kraeger has streamlined patient flow and increased bed availability for HHS’ partners.
Jack McCuistion — Executive Vice President, Patient Transportation & Linen Services
Jake McCuistion joined HHS in 2013, bringing an unparalleled wealth of knowledge in healthcare transport operations and laundry and linen utilization to the company. In his current role, McCuistion is responsible for annual sales growth for HHS’ Linen Utilization Management and Patient Transport Programs. Before joining HHS, McCuistion served as a director in the healthcare laundry industry, where he developed systems that helped customers save over $1.5 million in a one-year period, just by improving their linen efficiency. He also has experience implementing new systems to improve patient flow for hospital transport systems.