Thursday, October 8, 2009

Returning home sooner: Good for patients and for the hospital

By Dr. Romas Stas, Associate Chief of Staff

The term conservable days is an internal hospital expression that probably means nothing to our patients and their families. Yet, reducing the number of conservable days has an enormous impact on their health and well-being.

Conservable days are the number of days patients remain in hospital past the benchmark average length of stay. (We benchmark, or compare, ourselves to the best performing hospitals to improve our patient care.)

Rouge Valley Health System is working with its physicians and staff to reduce our hospital’s number of conservable days. If we focus on this aspect of patient care, we can greatly improve the flow of patients through the hospital, thereby easing bed pressures and reaping the benefits of efficiency.

There are several benefits of timely patient discharge, including the following:

* Lower risk of infection;
* Improved patient recovery, allowing patients to recover in familiar surroundings with family;
* Reduced costs to the hospital, allowing the hospital to reinvest in new equipment and new technologies, thereby improving quality of care.

Let’s all work together for the benefit of our patients. Remember, there is no such thing as a good conservable day unless it has been eliminated.

Here are a few reminders on how to reduce conservable days, from Michele Jordan, RVHS vice-president and chief transformation officer.