White Paper

Patient Care Capacity Management: Redefining what's possible in a post-reform world

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Eight out of 10 U.S. hospitals operate below 80% occupancy. Interestingly, many hospitals that operate around 60% occupancy "feel full." This is the result of sub-optimized scheduling and processes that inefficiently use capacity. To continue to improve outcomes and remain financially viable, our healthcare system must improve capacity utilization.

Unlike factories that produce goods, the essential unit of output for a hospital is patient care. Thus patient care capacity management (PCCM) is among healthcare's core challenges. The challenge is to match capacity to demand and operate at high occupancy in such a way that it is both safe and sustainable over time.

A number of advances have made it possible to transform patient care capacity management. These include evolving technologies such as simulation modeling, more accurate Real-time Location Systems (RTLS), predictive rules engines, and improved software. The resulting framework enables decision-makers to make non-intuitive judgments based on a housewide view of the hospital.


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