United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia experienced a slow and steady increase in the length of stay for inpatients, which reached its peak at 6.47 days at the end of 2011. Length of stay has wide ranging clinical and financial impacts on patients and healthcare organizations. Long lengths of stay result in increased potential for hospital-acquired conditions, such as infections, and significant additional expenses at the hospital.
United Memorial instituted a multidisciplinary length of stay committee that includes leaders from nursing, medical staff, case management, and other clinical departments. This committee meets daily to review every patient in the facility and discuss potential or actual discharge and utilization issues.
The committee has made significant enhancements related to patient management including improvements in community resources, education, and process changes for local nursing homes. The outcome has been a steady and permanent correction to patient length of stay with improved patient experience and reduced hospital-acquired events.