The safety and well-being of the IHI community is our main priority. Therefore, all IHI professional development programs will be conducted virtually until further notice.
Ensuring timely patient care in the right location at the right time with the right clinical team amidst the COVID-19 pandemic has never been more important. The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) understands the vexing problems and the effective solutions needed to make substantial improvements in patient flow throughout the hospital even in challenging times.
IHI's Hospital Flow Professional Development Program, running for two weeks with live virtual sessions, guides teams through an in-depth examination of high-leverage strategies to improve hospital flow. Working closely with expert faculty and hospital leaders who have achieved exemplary patient flow outcomes, participants can expect to spend 20 hours per week on the program, including the online sessions, team planning time, and asynchronous learning. To gain the most value from each session, each team is expected to meet and reflect on what they have learned after each session. At the end of the course, the Flow faculty will facilitate a session to help participants prioritize and create an action plan.
The High Stakes of Suboptimal Flow
Optimizing patient flow throughout the hospital is essential to ensuring safe, high-quality, patient-centered care. Providing timely access to appropriate care and optimizing hospital flow are both critical levers to increasing value for patients, clinicians, and health care systems.
Poorly managed flow has critical implications, such as:
Failing to provide the right care, in the right place, at the right time
Putting patients at risk for potential harm and less than optimal care
Increasing the burden on clinicians and accelerating burnout
Many recognize that diversions, long waits, and delays in the emergency department (ED) are a hospital-wide issue, not solely an ED issue. Waits are often the result of ED beds being occupied by patients waiting for admission to the hospital. Lack of inpatient capacity also results in patients being “boarded” in the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) and often managed on “off service” units.
Yet, while many understand the problem, they don’t often have the strategies needed to address hospital-wide patient flow.