Implementation of Electronic Patient Discharge: A Successful Strategy to Increase Hospital Bed Capacity during the COVID-19 Pandemic
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Keywords

Bed
COVID-19
Hospital
Patient discharge
Six Sigma

Categories

How to Cite

Fazaeli, S., Yousefi, M. ., & Sabethoseini Dokht, M. . (2021). Implementation of Electronic Patient Discharge: A Successful Strategy to Increase Hospital Bed Capacity during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal, 23(12). https://doi.org/10.32592/ircmj.2021.23.12.1505

Abstract

Background: The ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic increased the need for inpatient beds, indicating the need for hospitals to increase the efficiency of beds.

Objectives: This study aimed to increase hospital bed capacity using the implementation of Electronic Patient Discharge (EPD).

Methods: This qualitative-quantitative study was conducted in a tertiary care hospital using the pre-and post-intervention designs, and the main outcome was patient discharge time. By applying the Six Sigma model, including definition, measurement, analysis, improvement, and control, the patient discharge process was assessed and improved by some interventions such as EPD. All hospitalized patients with COVID-19 from 21 March 2020 to 22 July 2021 were examined for the post-intervention. In addition, data were collected from the hospital information system.

Results: By the use of EPD, patient discharge time decreased to 47.70% (from 10.19 h to 5.33 h) (P < 0.000). According to the Sigma level, the yield and defects per million opportunities of the discharge process also increased to 55%.

Conclusion: Six Sigma methodology can be an effective change management tool to improve discharge time to cover the demand created during pandemics. According to the results of the present study and the obtained saved time, one bed is added to the hospital capacity for every five discharges.

https://doi.org/10.32592/ircmj.2021.23.12.1505
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