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5 Simple Ways to Reach the New Throughput

Contributor

Mark Baker

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To create a higher level of care, it not only takes a change in staff practice but a change in hospital culture.

Mark Baker, Director of Cardiovascular Services at Platte Valley Medical Center in Brighton, Colorado, explains: “Patients don’t want to feel like they’re on an assembly line, so how can we take a cold, number-based process and make it personal?”

The problems associated with throughput inspired Baker to observe and implement different strategies to not only speed up the process, but make it more well-rounded.

Learn more about how to drive cardiovascular (CV) service line throughput beyond the finish line, using Mark Baker’s 5 simple strategies. 

  We’re not just getting you to the finish line. There is no finish line, this is a lifelong process. The continuum of healthcare should be lifelong.”
  Mark Baker, RCIS, MICP, RCSA, CTAE, FSICP
Director of Cardiovascular Services
Platte Valley Medical Center
 
What are the qualities of an ideal LAAC coordinator?
It is essential for employees to understand the importance of the continuum of care process. Role-playing from the patient perspective can inspire ideas to help make throughput more effective. 

A day-in-the-life scenario:

  • Rotate through staff members
  • Have 1 staff member play themselves and 1 play a patient
  • Make each scenario realistic
  • Run through each scenario from beginning to end
  • Bring scenario ideas for the group, patients, and yourself
  Seeing things from that other point of view makes the process better for yourself and for the patients.”
  Mark Baker, RCIS, MICP, RCSA, CTAE, FSICP
Director of Cardiovascular Services
Platte Valley Medical Center
 
What are the qualities of an ideal LAAC coordinator?

Verb

Definition: a common practice that involves giving a report in the same manner every time, creating muscle memory.

By having a script, staff members can simply plug in the varying information based on the patient. In return, giving information consistently allows the patient to feel comfortable by knowing what to expect. 

Scripting can improve:

Efficiency
Patient satisfaction
Quality care
Become a patient specialist
One way to speed up the usual steps is to change how patients move through the CV service line. Creating a consistent handoff—meaning the patient sees the same doctor or nurse at pre-admission and post-admission—builds familiarity and clinical knowledge of the patient. Staff members end up becoming a specialist for that patient.
  It’s like coming in and having someone who knows you, not just a constant state of handing off the baton.”
  Mark Baker, RCIS, MICP, RCSA, CTAE, FSICP
Director of Cardiovascular Services
Platte Valley Medical Center
Become a patient specialist
Encourage team members to research new technology and solutions. Vendors are an excellent resource to help staff members learn about innovative technologies that can make the throughput process more efficient and effective. If a new technology is implemented, vendors can also display how to best utilize it in the CV service line.
Become a patient specialist
The electronic medical record (EMR) has advanced to allow people to customize their systems, which helps move patients along more easily and quickly. Leverage EMR to support throughput by working with IT—to help fill in any resource gaps in areas that might be lacking, and adjust them based on the current resources that are available in the CV service line.

Benefits of leveraging EMR for throughput:

Physicians can make it work for them with personalization

Each patient has unique needs—using EMR puts it all in one place

The CV service line can mold it based on existing resources

Conclusion

Improving throughput aims to lower complications, increase patient satisfaction, and create less risk. Baker supposes, “Instead of taking traditional points of view, we should be trying to think outside the box.” By following these 5 simple steps, throughput in the CV service line can become more effective, sustainable, and successful for the foreseeable future.
 

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