Healthcare Program Improvement

The purpose of the program or project.

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The purpose of the quality program is to create a system that will better equip personnel in the workplace to identify barriers to patient flow, create pattern solutions to , and use measurement of data to evaluate the quality improvement plan and to support implementation of the improvement efforts. The patient flow improvement plan will be based on the proven methods of (RTDC) management and planning.

The target population or audience.

The program is designed for the staff, practitioners, and clinicians who work within the environments that directly impact patient care and that require the movement of patients into and out of these contexts.

3.The benefits of the program or project

The patient flow quality improvement plan is based on learning outcomes and practices employed in other fields. A number of key concepts are found across these disciplines and they provide a strategically sound approach to change of practice, yet are adaptable across agency and business practices.

Poor patient flow can have a wide impact on the effectiveness of hospital functioning, and it is clearly linked to the safety of patients within a hospital setting. Contrarily, well planned and well implemented patient flow can reduce patients’ exposure to delays and improper sequences in care, as patients are shuttled from place to place. Symptoms of poor work flow include overcrowding in any one area of the hospital — especially the emergency department, where patients may be left for long periods of time in what has been labeled “boarding practice” — and the management of patients in an off-service mode or local. Proper patient flow is also important to the ROI of a hospital as it increases the value of the business by ensuring that a higher number of patients are seen by care providers and given appropriate treatment. Also, efficient patient flow is an important aspect of the reputation of a hospital and its employees.

An inadvertent spiral of patient care has been associated with the use of emergency departments to fill in gaps in the provision of service or lack of adequate inpatient space within a care setting. There is a recognized symmetry between an escalating spiral of costs and a deteriorating quality of care when emergency rooms are used as holding places for diverted patients. Hospitals that don’t correctly identify solutions to their patient flow problems may expand their emergency departments, spending millions of dollars in an effort to care for increasing numbers of patients. Not only is this a misguided approach, it also sets hospitals up to be blind to the role of other areas and departments in the clogged emergency rooms. Establishing effective patient flow requires analysis of the entire care facility and must engage at the level of the system.

An can inform those in a care setting to plan better flow systems, pinpoint those units or locations where particular projects can be put in place, and generally improve the overall patient flow patterns in the hospital. Case studies have shown that implementation of RTDC in a care setting “improves flow by more and demand for at least 25% of the day” (). Adopting an RTDC approach helps a healthcare system identify the key barriers that generate delays and misrouting in patient flow, and determine how best to make changes that will move the system in a forward direction by establishing a more efficient pattern.

4.The cost or budget justification.

5.The basis upon which the program or project will be evaluated.

It is crucial that individuals who understand how hospitals operate and can readily identify the criteria for gauging hospital performance are involved in all phases of the quality improvement program. The (RTDC) system was developed by practicing experts in the field during a hospital-wide collaborative effort focused on patient flow. Indeed, RTDC was the topic of an article authored by several faculty members and published in the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.

The program will be evaluated according to the following measures that address patient flow: 1) Successful identification of patient flow bottlenecks in the healthcare system; 2) creation of a customized solution developed through a patient flow improvement plan; 3) the use of appropriate tools and proven strategies to implement the improvement plan; 4) successful development of systems that undergird the RTDC initiative.


Sweeney, B., Meisner, H., Lovett, P.B., DeEugenio, L., Caliguri, D., DeAngelis, H., Johnston, M., and Premaza, M. (2013, February 26). Use of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s (IHI) Real Time Demand Capacity model to promote organizational values and optimize patient flow. Philadelphia, PA: Thomas Jefferson University Hospital (TJUH). Retreived

Resar, R., Nolan, K., Kaczynski, D., and Jensen K. (2011, May). Using real-time demand capacity management to improve hospital-wide patient flow. Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, 37(5), 217-227.

Flow Seminar. Retrieved