Part 2 in a 3-part Series on Stable Discharge Rates. 

Last time, we talked about . . . PREDICTING THE FUTURE! Well, it’s time to start. Last time, we saw how hospitalists can have stable LOS over time. This is golden information for predicting volume. 

We’ve all had the experience of fluctuation in the census over the course of the week that we work. The week starts out OK, but then over time, it just grows and grows, and by the end of the week, everyone is overloaded and stressed out. Or maybe it’s the opposite. The census starts out normal, and over the week, we just have an easy week.  The census goes down, workloads are light, and everyone is feeling good. 

What if those fluctuations had nothing (or little) to do with the patients, and everything to do with the providers working? We all know people who are just dischargers. They move people out. And some people who are much slower to discharge. Well now, we can use the data we discussed last time to put real numbers on these things. And once we have real numbers, we can start predicting the future. 

If you know your census, and you know who the providers working are, and you know their LOS, you can predict what the census will be tomorrow (without the new admissions – we’ll get to them a bit later).  

So, let’s say you start the day with 300 patients, and you have 20 providers working, each of whom get 15 patients to start the day. And you have dedicated admitters, so these 20 providers won’t need to do any new admissions. If we divide each provider’s census by their individual LOS, we’ll have a prediction for how many patients they’ll discharge.  

Do this for all 20 providers and you’ll have a great prediction of how many patients will be discharged. And if you have a good idea of your daily admissions, you can simply take your starting census, subtract the predicted discharges, add the predicted admissions, and you’ll have your predicted census for the next day!    

This is a big deal. You can use this information in lots of valuable ways.   

We’ll find out how – next time! 

What’s next?  

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