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Our values: Care with compassion, Respect and dignity, Striving to excel, Professional standards, Working together
Rapid improvement through collabloration

United and committed to rapid improvement  

Mapping the patient discharge patheway

Week commencing 31 October 2016, for 4 days, Key staff from organisations across North Kent and Medway took part in a radical new way of tackling one of the most complex problems in healthcare today; how to ensure that patients who have completed their hospital care are safely discharged in a timely and efficient manner! The Rapid Improvement Event (RIE) was a four day seminar with participatoin from all partners in the health and social care economy who help patients move through the discharge pathway. 

With the patient perspective and quality improvement as an imperative the RIE used facilitated sessions, workshops and “waste walks” to fully understand the problems, the barriers faced, and come up with practical solutions.  Focusing on people, relationships, process and measurement, the aim is to develop or improve the processes and pathways at the point of discharge especially for complex patients.

Outlining the purpose of the event CEO, Susan Acott said “It is gratifying to see so many people in the room from different organisations investing time and effort to help resolve what is a significant issue in today’s health and social care system. Both Leeds and Bristol have used the same approached of getting the right people in the room together, who know what they are doing and have the expertise in their field to understand the challenges and offer better ideas and solutions.”  

“Patients spend far longer in hospital than is necessary simply because of poor organisation and the lack of a robust process that supports them effectively and efficiently through the patient journey from admission to discharge. Frail elderly patients can become institutionalised if they remain in hospital for too long. They can become vulnerable to falls through inactivity and the risk of exposure to infection increases.” 

The primary aim of the event is to develop a whole system approach that also takes into consideration the family perspective and patient environment.  With up to 25% of beds occupied by patients who no longer need acute care, occupancy has consistently remained high at the Trust impacting on the organisation’s ability to treat and admit new patients. Heading into the winter period this fundamentally undermines the hospital’s ability to function effectively, particularly in meeting emergency care responsibilities.

Several projects have been set up and at Thirty days, sixty days and ninety days following the Rapid Improvement Event, the participants will meet again to measure their progress and evaluate the improvements that have been made.