Acute care settings are plagued with waits, delays, and diversions. Patient safety, hospital revenue, staff satisfaction, and patient satisfaction are all negatively impacted when patients, information, and materials do not move through hospitals in a timely and efficient way.
System-level changes are required to solve the issues of flow. Looking upstream and downstream from "problem" hospital units is essential to make changes that will result in hospital-wide improvements in flow. Understanding variability is key to making improvements in flow through the acute care setting.