To improve the discharge process and enhance patient flow through North Carolina Children's Hospital (NCCH). Local aims include refining, creating and standardizing discharge process tools in the NCCH, moving mean discharge time to earlier in the day, and increasing the number of morning discharges.
Despite national recommendations that include a focus on providing timely and efficient care, delays in hospital discharge persist and remain an area for improvement. Managing discharge time is step one in reducing the total cost of pediatric hospitalization. Experts promote the idea that hospitals should aim to discharge patients as close as possible to when they are medically ready for discharge which often occurs and is feasible in the morning. Timely discharge frees up personnel, space, and equipment for other patients with the enhanced benefit of incremental increases in revenue paired with cost reduction, and can also create available beds that facilitate efficient patient flow through emergency rooms, intensive care units and the operating rooms. The discharge process challenges our system; it is known to be a complicated, multi-disciplinary process with inadequacies that can result in delays.
Kathleen Bradford, MD
July 2014 - June 2015