Capacity management impacts the financial strength of hospitals to a great extent, involving various operations such as managing the purchases and distribution of hospital resources, including staff and supplies. Meeting patient expectations and demand through real-time hospital capacity management helps improve overall patient flow. With an effective hospital capacity management there will be high chances of identifying the number of availability of beds when the demand is high. Patients can expect receiving right level of care in a timely fashion in hospitals that have a capacity management system in place. This process decreases ED and PACU holds, and helps in identifying the barriers to success leading to measurably improved work.
Few strategies that can be used to improve capacity management:
Right size the organization: The management personnel at hospitals should access the amount of space available to meet patient demand and right size the organization. For example, if a hospital has 3 units with 30 beds in each unit and each unit only occupies 20 beds daily, the hospital might want to close one of the unit and consolidate the patients in the two remaining units. The hospital can reassign the staff from the closed unit to any other positions in the organization, which will also reduce the expense of overtime of employees. Hospitals can take up the option of closing and opening units on the basis of patient volume.
Develop wide awareness within the organization: Efforts should be made to raise awareness about the need to optimize the use of the available resources and streamline care. This can be done by creating a multidisciplinary patient committee that analyses the hospital capacity and average patient volume, and creates an elaborate plan on utilizing all the available resources effectively.
Start a patient logistics department: A department can be established to monitor patient logistics. This can help keep a track of the status of beds — which ones are dirty, in the process of being cleaned, available or occupied. Additionally, a transport notification system can be installed to show where patients are being moved, and to assign the staff and patient to different areas of the hospital based on the availability.
Improved communication: Improved communication between the ED staff and receiving units will reduce the ED length of stay and will ensure safe and timely transfer of patients between different levels of care.
Factors Driving the Growth of the Hospital Capacity Management Solutions Market
Rising demand for better healthcare facilities, technological advancement, investment initiatives in healthcare IT, need for integrated healthcare solutions, and growing number of hospitals are majorly driving the hospital capacity management solutions market. Increasing numbers of mergers and acquisitions in the healthcare industry, along with wide adoption of Mobile IT are some of the major trends in the market.
Owing to stringent laws and regulations pertaining to installation and implementation of capacity management solutions in hospitals, the growth of the market is tumbling. Emergency department (ED) needs regular outstrips capacity, and many key healthcare organizations have recognized the importance of incorporating patient capacity management (CM) in the ED.
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High cost of implementing hospital capacity management is posing challenges for its widespread adoption. Lack of skilled capacity management personnel is another key restraining factor in the hospital capacity management solutions market.
Increased rates of chronic diseases and demand for improved healthcare infrastructure are fuelling the growth of hospital capacity management solutions market. New technical developments in hospital capacity management solutions and better awareness of these applications are also the factors for the growth of this market.
The US and Canada are the largest markets for hospital capacity management solutions market. The Asian market is also growing at a significant pace, with increased number of hospitals and healthcare spending. Also, the government is taking initiatives to implement Healthcare IT in hospitals, thus increasing the growth of the hospital capacity management solution market. Apart from Asia, Latin America is another important market due to the growing demand for improved healthcare infrastructure and hospital capacity management solutions. Brazil accounts for the largest market share in the Latin America hospital capacity management solutions market due to enhanced healthcare infrastructure and the growing demand from government bodies to implement these solutions in hospitals of the country.
Hospitals may be better served by coupling better capacity management considering how they manage the hospital systems to the best of their existing capacity. Better capacity management, both within the hospital and across hospitals enables rapid adjustment of supply to meet the fluctuations of patient care demand. So hospital capacity management solution is applied to initiate organizational improvements and has led to more efficient capacity utilization.