Essentia Health, which has locations in North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, maximizes its use of rural hospitals to alleviate the strain on hospital capacity and get more patients the care they need faster. By creating a central admission and transfer center, transferring lower-acuity patients back to rural hospitals closer to their homes, and using telemedicine to provide specialty consultations, Essentia’s East Market region increased its average daily census by almost 30% and generated 3,015 bed days through lateral transfers to its rural hospitals and contract beds at skilled nursing facilities. This enabled Essentia to accept around 540 patients into its tertiary care facilities, helping to increase revenue by $2.7 million in fiscal year 2022.
How They Did It
- Created a central capacity command center
- Provided specialty care to patients at rural hospitals using telehealth
- Created daily meetings for clinical and administrative leaders to coordinate regional transfers
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