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Saving Time, Saving Lives with a Centralized Patient Flow Center

Ochsner Health opened a centralized patient flow center to increase the efficiency of inter- and intra-hospital transfers. Patients receive the right level of care sooner, an improvement that saves an estimated 56 lives annually.

Since opening its doors in 2018, Ochsner’s patient flow center has been put to the test by both the COVID-19 pandemic and two Category 4 hurricanes. In 2020, it accepted nearly 13,000 transfers, coordinated over 8,000 behavioral health placements, and assigned over 90,000 beds. The improved communication and increased efficiency mean that patients are transferred from external facilities faster and mortality is reduced. Using the Risk Adjusted Mortality Index, Ochsner measured a statistically significant decrease in the mortality rate for patients transferred from an external facility when that transfer took less than six hours. Since the patient flow center opened, transfers are completed more quickly, which saves an estimated 56 lives annually.

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