SOURCE: VHA

September 21, 2010 10:11 ET

VHA's Patient Flow Collaborative Helps Members Improve Throughput, Reduce Costs and Improve Patient Satisfaction

IRVING, TX--(Marketwire - September 21, 2010) - VHA Inc., the national health care network, has created a new offering to support members' efforts to improve patient flow within their organizations. Health care organizations are concerned about efficiently moving patients around and through their facilities because delays and bottlenecks cost money, resources and impact patients' satisfaction. The Joint Commission expects hospitals to identify barriers to patient flow and to implement solutions that will improve patient flow.

VHA works collectively with hospitals' multi-disciplinary teams to identify and implement strategies that simplify and improve patient flow using analytics, national benchmarks, a cultural assessment and onsite observations and interviews. Armed with a thorough appraisal gleaned from a wide array of benchmarks for procedure times, length of stay, mortality, complications, co-morbidities and readmission rates, the VHA team pinpoints specific improvement opportunities and creates a plan of action tailored to an organization's needs.

"Health care organizations searching for a quick fix to patient flow problems have typically focused on their emergency department," said Nik Fincher, vice president of Purchased Services Sales and Capital for VHA. "While many patient flow inefficiencies are more apparent in the ER, exhibited by diversions, temporarily keeping patients in hallways, patients leaving without being seen, etc., organizations that have developed successful solutions recognize that patient flow is a complex issue that requires a comprehensive, enterprise-wide approach. VHA's team of experts and portfolio of suppliers offer effective, results-oriented solutions to patient flow problems."

VHA supports member efforts to streamline operations and enhance workflow by helping members improve patient arrival and transport logistics, patient tracking during their stay, room cleaning, turn time for operating rooms and patient rooms and discharge procedures.

VHA member Sharon (Pa.) Regional Health System engaged VHA supplier Sodexo for various support services and has since added other services including patient transport management.

"We've definitely seen increased patient satisfaction with the implementation of our central transport department," says Sam Kudelko Jr., senior director of Support Services for Sharon Regional. "Patients arrive for their appointments on time, which prevents the snowball effect that happens when one patient runs late. The number of transports handled by nursing has decreased dramatically, allowing nurses to concentrate on patient care -- translating into improved quality of care."

As part of this services solution, VHA provides hospitals and non-acute care facilities with savings opportunities on a broad range of value-added services that help streamline operations, improve staff efficiency, reduce overall costs and assist with HIPAA compliance. For more information on VHA's Patient Flow Collaborative please visit https://www.vha.com/Solutions/Contracting/Pages/PurchasedServicesOverview.aspx

About VHA -- VHA Inc., based in Irving, Texas, is a national network of not-for-profit health care organizations that work together to drive maximum savings in the supply chain arena, set new levels of clinical performance and identify and implement best practices to improve operational efficiency and clinical outcomes. In 2009, VHA delivered record savings and value of $1.47 billion to members. Formed in 1977, through its 16 regional offices, VHA serves 1,400 hospitals and more than 30,000 non-acute care providers nationwide. VHA was ranked by Modern Healthcare as the 7th best place to work in health care in 2009.

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