Optimizing patient flow is critical to improving efficiency, an important component of quality as defined by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Patients who spend less time in the hospital are at a lower risk for developing hospital-acquired conditions, a critical aspect of improving patient safety. That’s why NYU Langone Medical Center developed the Discharge Before Noon (DBN) Challenge program to dramatically improve patient flow in the hospital.
Late-afternoon hospital discharges exacerbate patient flow challenges seen in emergency departments and intensive and post-acute care units, which negatively impact other aspects of care. The DBN Challenge was launched in March 2012 by partnering with key stakeholders and fully leveraging the power of an interdisciplinary team.
As a result of the program, the DBN rate increased from 7% to more than 40% and has been sustained for four years. The initiative has been implemented across the institution and has been replicated at a newly acquired hospital. Additionally, the observed-to-expected length of stay has remained consistently low, and the readmission rate has held steady at 15%. Patient satisfaction scores for care coordination increased by 19 points.