Patient Flow Software Blog


Posted by Ron Gregg on Tue, Sep 18, 2018 @ 02:51 PM


Blog-PT Operation-part 2 (002)


In Part 1, we stated that the best thing patient transport technology can do is to demonstrate that your transport operations are performing as well as can be expected. However, sometimes the numbers show unexpected, but important, results. Here is an example.   

Transport managers are interested in comparing their actual performance against some reasonable performance standard, what ARE we doing compared to what SHOULD we be doing? 

Our patient transport technology includes scientifically based internal benchmarks which establish optimal dispatch and completion times for every trip, to help make sure the patient arrives on time. A recent performance study among our clients, and based on these internal standards showed that, on average, they dispatch 6.4 minutes late and transport 10.2 minutes faster than their internal benchmarks indicated. So overall, they can demonstrate to management that they are meeting expectations.  

The study also collected other metrics that could be compared to national benchmarks. This kind of comparison is not a precise picture of performance due to the many differences in variables across hospitals.  For instance, a measure that hospital management often treats as important is the average number of completed trips per transporter per hour. By one national study, that number is 2.6 trips. However, that number for the PFS hospitals was 2.11 trips per hour per transporter. Aside from poor performance, what could have caused this difference? One factor could be the size and configuration of the hospitals, each one being different from the others. Or whether trips canceled after dispatch, because clinical staff has already taken the patient, were counted or not. Or whether the return of equipment is counted as a separate trip. Or whether the ratio of transporters to total trips varies from hospital to hospital.

Benchmarking, as a performance improvement tool, works well when comparing like processes. It informs you when others record better results and motivates you to search out the reasons. This can result in performance improvements. However, benchmarking loses much of its value when used to compare unlike processes. Comparing patient transport operations among hospitals is inherently difficult because hospital physical configurations are not alike, either vertically or horizontally. The timing of a transport from 4North to Radiology in two different hospitals will necessarily be different even in the face of equal staff efficiency. There are also all the other differences. Internal benchmarks assure comparison with a like process.

Our patient transport system was designed by industrial engineers and transport managers to help hospitals provide high quality, patient satisfying services, to identify issues that keep them from optimal performance, and to demonstrate when they are doing well.   


Topics: patient transportation software, patient flow software, patient tracking, Patient transport software