Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Study finds patient transfer time between acute and rehabilitative care needs improvement

120068681A recent study has found that patients are spending an average of 12% of their time in acute care waiting for a transfer to rehabilitation, the Internal Medicine Journal reports.

The study, undertaken by a team of Monash University specialists, examined 360 patients admitted into inpatient rehabilitation during an eight to ten month period in Melbourne. It found that there are significant delays in transferring patients from the immediate admission stage of acute care into longer-term rehabilitation.

Inefficient transferring procedures can mean that much-needed beds are being unnecessarily taken up.

The study suggests that the solution to this problem could be simple. Patient flow would be quicker if hospital staff commenced discharge planning for patients needing rehabilitation sooner, and rehabilitation was considered earlier in management plans for patients in acute hospitals. 

However, for these changes to occur, a greater allocation of resources, and a more integrated approach to patient flow between acute hospital staff and rehabilitation staff are needed.

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