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.

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

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 April 18, 2014 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 April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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