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IHI Hospital Flow Professional Development Program

​Deliver the right care, in the right setting, at the right time.​

In the post-pandemic era, safe, equitable, and high-quality care takes on a sharper focus for hospitals and clinicians like never before. These goals can be impacted by:

  • increasing patient complexity and acuity,
  • higher degree of frailty,
  • highly complex care processes,
  • design layout of aging facilities, and
  • staffing challenges

When faced with these inputs, managing hospital flow to meet the care needs of communities takes on the utmost importance.

The core of IHI's Hospital Flow Professional Development Program includes:

  • addressing inpatient bed availability,
  • predictable length of stay,
  • timely discharge,
  • safe care, and
  • high-quality outcomes of treatment. 

Through this course, program attendees will construct effective solutions that substantially improve patient flow throughout the hospital.

The Hospital Flow Professional Development Program offers a blended learning experience that begins online in March 2024. The in-person program convenes the following week in Boston, MA, to guide teams through an in-depth examination of high-leverage strategies to improve hospital flow. You will work closely with expert faculty and hospital leaders who have achieved exemplary patient flow outcomes. 

​​​The High Stakes of Suboptimal Flow 

Optimizing patient flow throughout the hospital is essential to ensuring safe, high-quality, patient-centered care and capacity for growing and aging populations. Providing timely access to appropriate sites of care and optimizing hospital flow are critical levers that increase value for patients, clinicians, and healthcare systems.  Patient and clinician experience is strongly influenced by the efficiency and effectiveness of care reflective of hospital flow.

Poorly managed flow has critical implications, such as: 

·     Delaying treatments 

·     Failing to provide the right care, in the right place, at the right time 

·     Putting patients at risk for potential harm and undesired outcomes

·     Increasing the burden on clinicians and contributing to moral distress

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 (known as boarding). Lack of inpatient capacity can also result in patients boarding in the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) and being managed in "off-service" units.

While many hospital leaders have an awareness of the problem, they may struggle with developing the strategies needed to address these complex issues.


Learn from the Success of Others

Designed for hospital leadership teams who are tasked with hospital operations, throughput, and ensuring optimal patient flow in the acute care hospital, this intensive IHI program provides participants with the skills to:

  • Assess the current state of patient flow and determine major opportunities for improvement.
  • Analyze organizational capability, change concepts, and successful interventions for creating a sustainable system for system-wide hospital flow.
  • Identify and make sense of the variety of hospital-wide and community strategies and approaches needed to deliver the right care, in the right place, and at the right time.

To deliver high standards of safe, person-centered care, take action now to address growing issues around patient flow — and realize the value across your organization.