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AI-Powered Analytics Helped Health First Streamline Discharge Process

Health First, a non-profit Central Florida health system, consists of more than 900 beds across four hospitals. It is the only Level II trauma center in the country. A major focus of many hospitals is to streamline and automate the patient discharge process to gain efficiency. Health First is no different from these. It has struggled to manage patient flow and manual discharge processes across the four hospitals.

The manual discharge process depends on paper trails and ad hoc verbal communication. Soiled information among the different care teams was the result. A huge patient flow bottleneck is created due to this, causing discharge delays. This has severely clouded the staff’s visibility into the latest status updates and identified existing patient discharge barriers.

Division director of patient throughput at Health First, Patti Canitano, said, “For example, we had multiple systems where ancillary departments relied on EHR charting, but they couldn’t tell what was outstanding or what was complete. All discharge documentation was paper-based, and that paperwork had to be reviewed in a huddle or shared with other care teams via scanning, emailing or faxing to ensure timely communication.”

20 to 30-page patient lists were being created by supervisors every day. The care teams relied on these to see who was being discharged when. However, the limitations were numerous, and the data became outdated and inaccurate. Support services did not know when to expect admission or discharges in progress. This led to staff shortage.

Health IQ is a vendor of predictive hospital operations software. Health First opted for the company’s system to streamline discharge management.

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