Lehigh Valley Health Network uses real-time data to improve patient throughput

Computer showing analytics
A digital dashboard is helping Lehigh Valley Health Network identify congestion as patients work their way through the system.

Using a real-time dashboard that gathers information from the EHR system, Lehigh Valley Health Network is streamlining how it manages patient flow by identifying areas of congestion. 

In the past, the Pennsylvania health system used a whiteboard to manually gather and transmit patient throughput data to more than 30 administrators across several departments. But a collaboration with Epic has digitized that approach and earned the hospital a Most Wired Innovator Award from the American Hospital Association.

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The dashboard collects and displays data on emergency department census and operating volume along with average transport and room cleaning times, according to the Hospitals and Health Networks Magazine. Each morning 30-40 administrators from various departments across the system meet to review the metrics and identify and fix specific clogs as patients make their way through the system, like reallocating environmental services staff during peak discharge hours to turnover rooms faster.

Increasingly, hospitals are using analytics to improve throughput and drill down into specific management solutions. Similarly, hospitals are spending more money on technology to manage revenue, but most aren’t realizing the full potential of those systems, in part because they can’t keep up with EHR upgrades.