Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

First Advisor

Janie M. Carlton

Abstract

Patient flow is becoming increasingly important to the efficient operations of an acute healthcare setting. Multiple factors peaking in their influence on the number of patients seeking healthcare services are on a collision course. When the true impact is felt in healthcare the potential for record numbers of patients to seek acute medical care are high. It is imperative to streamline patient flow processes to ensure healthcare facilities have the ability to provide the care sought by patients in a timely manner. This study’s purpose was to assist in increasing the number of patients an acute care facility can provide treatment to, while maintaining the high quality care expected by consumers and regulatory bodies. A thorough literature review was conducted which revealed a lack of information on the timeliness of discharges and the effect this process has on the patient flow process. Two focus groups, one medical and one surgical, were interviewed to get their qualitative responses on the topic of timely discharges and the factors affecting this metric. There were several common themes identified, and many variance identified in this process. In analyzing the variances, process planning can be initiated in an effort to bring about action plans to increase the efficiency of the discharge process in both the medical and surgical specialties.

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