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Virtual multidisciplinary rounds reduce length of stay and improve throughput

Study in September 2023 issue of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety Tuesday, August 22 2023

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(OAKBROOK TERRACE, Illinois, August 22, 2023) – Traditional, in-person multidisciplinary rounds (MDRs) in patient care units are shown to reduce length of stay (LOS) and improve throughput. A new study in the September 2023 issue of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety (JQPS) sought to determine whether virtual MDRs could also reduce LOS and improve throughput, as well as promote accountability and reduce provider variation. 

Researchers at Yuma Regional Medical Center, Arizona, designed and implemented virtual multidisciplinary rounds via phone conference calls with key stakeholders, including hospitalists, case managers, the clinical documentation improvement team, physical and occupational therapy and nursing leaders. 

To track progress in real time, dashboards were created using data from electronic medical records. After several months, unit-based discharge huddles were added to supplement the process and sustain the improvement. 

The interventions led to more than 60% of discharges below geometric mean LOS after starting the initiative, compared to approximately 52% before the initiative. Mean observation hours went from 44 hours to 31.9 hours, and the change was sustained for more than a year. A total of 3,813 excess days were reduced in 10 months, resulting in a combined savings of $6.7 million. Additionally, a decrease in hospitalist provider variation was noted. 

The researchers determined that virtual MDRs combined with other interventions can effectively reduce LOS and observation hours. Decreased variation among hospitalists and improved key stakeholder engagement can also be achieved with virtual MDRs. 

Also featured in the September issue are:

  • 2022 John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award recipients:

For more information, please visit the JQPS website

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Note for editors  
The article is “Virtual Multidisciplinary Rounds to Reduce Length of Stay, Decrease Variation, and Promote Accountability,” by Krishna Nimmagadda, MD, MBA; Susan Pancrazi; Anthony Martino; Eric Coleman, PT, MSPT;
Narasa Madam, MD; Nicole Goekler, RN; Claudia Rodriguez; Sarah Kramer, MD; Bharat Magu, MD, MHA; and
Deb Aders, RN, MS. The article appears in The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety (JQPS), volume 49, number 9 (September 2023), published by Elsevier.  

The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety  
The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety (JQPS) is a peer-reviewed journal providing healthcare professionals with innovative thinking, strategies and practices in improving quality and safety in healthcare. JQPS is the official journal of The Joint Commission and Joint Commission Resources, Inc. Original case studies, program or project reports, reports of new methodologies or the new application of methodologies, research studies, and commentaries on issues and practices are all considered.

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