Patient Transport — A Small Department Making a Big Impact

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.”

Jake-McQuistion-2019-300x300An industry-leading tool that has improved patient flow is BedWatch Transport Control. This cloud-based, mobile technology puts the control for patient flow in the palm of a transporter’s hand. “BedWatch Transport Control allows transport teams to track all transport requests in real-time and gives them the ability to actively monitor transport processes, view delays, and receive STAT notifications, and allows teams to act on information in a timely manner to maximize operational efficiency,” adds Jake McCuistion, HHS Executive Vice President of Business Development. “Not only does this technology help move patients through more quickly and keep team members aware of pending statuses, it practically eliminates interdepartmental phone calls and gives transporters easier access to the information they need while keeping the clinical team updated in the process,” reflects McCuistion.

“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 flow and our industry-leading solutions, contact us.

David Kraeger —  President, Patient Transportation & Linen Utilization
With over 30 years of healthcare experience, David Kraeger has an in-depth understanding of how support services impact patient throughput. As the President of Patient Flow and Linen Utilization, Kraeger creates opportunities to directly impact facility revenue and expenses by utilizing cloud technology. 

Jack McCuistion — Executive Vice President, Business Development
Jake McCuistion joined HHS in 2013, serving as the Executive Vice President of Patient Flow and Linen Utilization Management, where he was responsible for annual sales growth within those areas. As a result of his leadership, he was promoted in 2018 to his current role as Executive Vice President of Business Development for the Healthcare Division. In this role, McCuistion develops and executes sales plans to grow HHS’ presence within the healthcare industry.