KPI of the Day – Healthcare: % Patients who leave without being seen
Measures the percentage of patients who leave without being seen by a certified physician for assessment and treatment, from the total number of patients waiting to be seen.
This KPI is measured in order to be able to assess the medical institution’s performance, in terms of answering patient needs and expectations. Most often the inclusion of this phrase in a medical record is the result of Emergency Department overcrowding.
Therefore, registering a high percentage of this KPI can reveal other aspects that need to be improved within the medical institution.
Overcrowding is highly influenced by patient flow and consequently, by the average duration of a consultation. Patient flows that supersede hospital capacity not only lead to a higher percentage of patients who leave without being seen but also compromise the quality of care given and increase the risk of hospital liability. This can further lead to reputational damage and losses in revenue, while the community gradually loses confidence in the healthcare it is given.
Patient flows are directly correlated to hospital waiting times, the latter being one of the key elements that bear a significant influence on hospital operations.
Another aspect that may influence this KPI is the lack of personnel, thus additional research should be made in order to identify the exact cause that leads to a high percentage of patients who left the ED before being consulted.
Adequate management of patient flow optimizes patient waiting times, while consistently reducing the percentage of patients who leave without being seen. Some other recommendations on optimizing patient flows and minimizing pre-consultation leaver levels include the following:
- Updating policies and procedures to clearly state responsibilities when handling patients;
- Performing a rigorous analysis of current processes that take into account process mapping and patient flow optimization;
- Collecting data to analyze hospital peak times and patient flows during such times;
- Assembling a team or a committee to predict, plan, and manage patient flows during peak operational periods;
- Initiative management for quality improvement of medical process flows.
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