Improving patient flow with ‘Golden Patients’
Patient flow is critical to patients’ safety, health and satisfaction. When patient throughput is effective and efficient, hospitals avoid overcrowded departments and care delivery delays – all of which affect a patient’s health, well-being and satisfaction.
With an efficient patient workflow, health care staff members experience less stress, improved job satisfaction and resilience.
What is a ‘Golden Patient’?
In order to safety maintain effective patient flow throughout our organisation and to avoid overcrowded departments (like our ED department, currently full and with 40 patients awaiting a medical bed), we are introducing GOLDEN PATIENTS.
The concept of the Golden Patient is for ward teams to identify patients for next day discharge before 10am. There are a number of actions required in preparation for patients to discharged from the acute bed base before 10am ensuring patients are home for lunch.
The following actions are key for success for Golden Patients:
- Patients have clear documented medical plans for discharge, ensuring estimated dates for discharge (EDDs) are reasonable and reviewed at the daily board rounds.
- It should be clearly documented in the patients notes and the ward tracker if a patient has been deemed to no longer require an acute bed (NO CRITERIA TO RESIDE).
- All transport arrangements are discussed and arranged the day before with bookable transport planned before 10am.
- TTO’s are prepared the day before in readiness for the morning discharge.
- Discharge letters are completed for those who are ready to leave before 10am.
- Every patient highlighted to be discharged from hospital are reviewed for the appropriateness of the discharge lounge. Those patients who meet criteria, are handed over and transferred before 10am.
- Names highlighted to the patient flow command centre, confirming definite discharges for Golden Patient.
- Ensure the plans for discharge are communicated with the patients or relatives in readiness for next day morning discharge.
The benefits of the ‘Golden Patient’ initiative
Speaking about the many benefits of identifying ‘Golden Patients’, Chris Broadbent, Deputy Divisional Director Of Operations & Head of Hospital Discharge in the Integrated Medicine & Patient Flow division said: “We actively encourage our colleagues to be pro-active in engaging with this initiative, particularly in this #TeamFyldeCoast week of improvement.
“The benefits are obvious, the Trust’s Home First initiative underlines the belief that patient’s recover better in their own environment, in turn that frees up more bed capacity across the Trust, and that can go towards speeding up flow from our Emergency Department when it is under pressure.”