Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study Of Hospital Relocation Provides Insights To Aid In Disaster Planning

Date:
September 21, 2009
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Restricting elective surgeries, limiting incoming transfers and enhancing the efficiency of the discharge process helped one major hospital reduce capacity before a relocation without interrupting emergency or trauma services, according to a new report. Similar principles could help hospitals absorb patients in the aftermath of a disaster, the authors observe.

Restricting elective surgeries, limiting incoming transfers and enhancing the efficiency of the discharge process helped one major hospital reduce capacity before a relocation without interrupting emergency or trauma services, according to a report in the September issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. Similar principles could help hospitals absorb patients in the aftermath of a disaster, the authors observe.

Related Articles


Planning to respond to natural or manmade disasters has become a priority for health care facilities around the world, according to background information in the article. "Thorough preparation requires a coordinated effort to determine the appropriate allocation of hospital resources to accommodate an acute influx of patients with needs for various services, including operative and other procedures," the authors write. Surge capacity is the term used to describe this ability to accommodate a sudden arrival of patients. "Surge capacity is rarely tested, as most disaster drills terminate after triage and immediate treatment in the emergency department and operating rooms."

UCLA Medical Center relocated to the new Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center site in June 2008, providing a unique opportunity to examine surge capacity issues. Howard C. Jen, M.D., and colleagues at the David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA, analyzed hospital operations for one-week periods beginning two weeks and one week prior to move day. The researchers also analyzed regional hospital and emergency department capacity.

The medical center had an average daily census (point-in-time number of patients) of 525 patients before relocation planning began, and set a target of 350 patients for move day. "There were three components to our census management strategy," the authors write. "First, the elective surgery schedule was restricted beginning one week prior to move day, and operative volume was reduced by 45 percent. Second, incoming transfers were limited, leading to a reduction in both urgent and emergent admissions to medical and surgical services without limitation of trauma and emergency department admissions. Finally, a centralized multidisciplinary discharge team was used to enhance the efficiency of the discharge process."

Through these strategies, hospital census was reduced 36 percent, from 537 two weeks before move day to 345 on move day, with no change in rate of death among patients. Surgical services were reduced more than non-surgical services (46 percent vs. 30 percent); the number of elective operations decreased significantly while the number of emergency operations did not change. Hospital admissions decreased by 42 percent and discharges per occupied bed increased by 8 percent.

"The majority of our strategies required three to four days to achieve significant census gains and would be particularly useful during disasters, such as hurricanes or illness epidemics, with longer lead times," the authors write. "When lead times are brief, such as earthquakes, urban bombings or other mass casualty incidents, strategies to bolster emergency department and trauma center preparedness are the first priority. Inpatient capacity for continued hospital care of injured patients must also be generated simultaneously, and our model provides useful tools for this purpose."

The findings are particularly important given results of the analysis of regional capacity, which found that during a period in which the southern California population increased 8.5 percent, the number of acute care beds decreased by 3.3 percent. In addition, Los Angeles County emergency departments experienced a 13 percent diversion rate due to overcrowding. "Hospitals should create an internal plan using these principles of census management with modifications to reflect local characteristics," the authors conclude. "Finally, as many hospitals are currently operating at capacity, a regional and integrated systems approach to surge capacity creation is needed."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Howard C. Jen; Stephen B. Shew; James B. Atkinson; J. Thomas Rosenthal; Jonathan R. Hiatt. Creation of Inpatient Capacity During a Major Hospital Relocation: Lessons for Disaster Planning. Arch Surg, 2009; 144 (9): 859-864 [link]

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Study Of Hospital Relocation Provides Insights To Aid In Disaster Planning." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090921161800.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2009, September 21). Study Of Hospital Relocation Provides Insights To Aid In Disaster Planning. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090921161800.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Study Of Hospital Relocation Provides Insights To Aid In Disaster Planning." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090921161800.htm (accessed March 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 31, 2015) — The Solitair device aims to take the confusion out of how much sunlight we should expose our skin to. Small enough to be worn as a tie or hair clip, it monitors the user&apos;s sun exposure by taking into account their skin pigment, location and schedule. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Washington Post (Mar. 30, 2015) — Denisa Livingston, a health advocate for the Dinι Community Advocacy Alliance, and the Post&apos;s Abby Phillip discuss efforts around the country to make unhealthy food choices hurt your wallet as much as your waistline. Video provided by Washington Post
Powered by NewsLook.com
UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 30, 2015) — The $12.8 billion merger will combine the U.S.&apos; third and fourth largest pharmacy benefit managers. Analysts say smaller PBMs could also merge. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins