By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.

Too Many Patients, Too Little Beds: Enhancing Hospital Asset Management

Discover how cutting-edge asset management transforms hospitals facing COVID-related capacity issues. Learn how technology-driven strategies enhance bed allocation, predictive analysis, maintenance scheduling, and personnel deployment. Elevate patient satisfaction through seamless transitions, reduced waiting times, and personalized care. Embrace Clinovera's system for efficient resource management. Contact us to redefine your healthcare facility's operations
hospital asset management
Published on
December 13, 2023

Bed shortages have long tested the limits of hospitals and their staff. Now, each COVID wave compounds the issue alongside seasonal infectious disease outbreaks, natural disasters, and broader issues like demographic changes, budget constraints, and poor planning.

Since mid-2020, hospitals have been required to report capacity information (first to Health and Human Services (HHS) and now to the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN)). This has served to highlight many facilities' resource constraints.

Yet, even when a hospital can accommodate its patients in terms of space, it's increasingly common to run into staffing shortages that limit the amount of care a facility can provide. As a result, hospitals are now faced with the task of managing their human resources alongside their physical ones.

Below, we'll look at some of the tech strategies that operations managers can use to limit current and future challenges in the face of resource scarcity in hospitals.

Understanding the Domino Effect Patient Flow Has on Hospital Capacity

Bed management in hospitals is not just a question of physical space - it's also a matter of adequate planning. When hospitals don't have the right tools for managing their assets, it creates a ripple effect of overcrowding that reverberates through other departments, such as the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU).

Surges in patient volume or patient flow inefficiencies often lead to increases in PACU holds.

This hold-up can create a logjam of sorts. A patient, though medically ready to be moved to a regular ward, continues to occupy a PACU bay, preventing the admission of new post-operative patients. As a result, the PACU bay becomes a waiting room for recovering patients. And when it's occupied longer than necessary, it blocks the smooth transition of patients and causes a bottleneck effect.

It's not hard to see how these constraints can ripple out to affect surgical units as well. If patients linger in the Operating Room (OR) longer than required because the PACU is full, it strains nursing and anesthesia staff resources and could potentially result in surgery postponements. In fact, poor bed management can have far-reaching consequences on the wellbeing of both patients and healthcare workers.

What Bed Management Reveals about Hospital Asset Management

Bed shortages can reveal much deeper problems in healthcare asset management, like inadequate equipment maintenance, poor space utilization, insufficient personnel, and a lack of predictive tools that would help hospitals accommodate unexpected surges in patient volume.

The ongoing challenges posed by hospital closures and the retirement of healthcare workers are only expected to compound the issue of bed shortages. Yet, there's no reason for hospitals to be entirely crippled by an influx of patients. Past shortcomings can catalyze strategic rethinking about how hospital facility managers track assets.

For example, healthcare asset tracking systems can aid in optimizing the use of available resources by providing real-time, accurate inventory data. This allows hospitals to identify bottlenecks or shortages before they become critical and respond proactively to changes in patient volume and resource demand. This might involve investing in or redistributing resources.

5 Ways Hospital Asset Management Systems Help Resolve Capacity Constraints

No hospital manager can magically create more beds or summon additional staff out of nowhere. That's why data-driven software solutions that streamline workflows and minimize inefficiencies are so important - they keep capacity issues at bay from the start. Here's how:

1. Real-Time Asset Tracking

Asset management systems empower healthcare facilities to visualize and track their resources in real time for better decision-making. This includes physical assets like beds and equipment as well as personnel.

2. Harness the Power of Predictive Analysis

These systems are game-changers, especially when they leverage data analytics to anticipate trends and patterns in patient flow. Having this information enables hospital managers to get ahead of the game in bed management, foresee problems, handle bed demand effectively, and reduce those stressful, last-minute PACU holds.

3. Maintenance Scheduling Made Simple

A well-serviced bed is a ready-to-use bed. Asset management systems can also help simplify maintenance scheduling to ensure all beds are in prime condition and ready when patients need them.

4. Mastering Personnel Deployment

These systems can even help maintain the optimal nurse-to-patient ratio by aligning staff availability with bed demand. The result? Less burnout for healthcare professionals and excellent care for patients.

5. Enhanced Patient Flow for Smoother Transitions

Real-time tracking and predictive analysis make patient flow much more manageable, helping to minimize PACU and inpatient bed holds, ensure smoother patient transitions, and create a more positive patient experience.

Elevating Patient Satisfaction with Efficient Resource Management

Patient satisfaction is important to the perception of a hospital’s efficiency and the quality of care. This goes beyond their immediate medical treatment and extends to their entire experience within the healthcare facility - from admission to discharge.

Here are a few of the ways that improved healthcare operations management can help a hospital earn the stellar reputation they deserve:

Reduced Waiting Times: Efficient hospital asset management can lead to shorter waiting times for beds, procedures, or discharges. Patients appreciate swift, seamless transitions through different stages of their care.

Enhanced Communication: Asset management systems can enhance communication by providing healthcare professionals with timely and accurate information about the availability of resources. This allows them to keep patients informed about what to expect, reducing uncertainty and stress.

Personalized Care Delivery: When resources are managed well, healthcare professionals can focus more on patient care instead of logistical challenges. This allows for a more personalized, attentive approach, which can greatly enhance patient outcomes and satisfaction.

Uninterrupted Recovery Time: Efficient bed and hospital asset management can reduce instances where patients are moved or disturbed due to resource misallocation for a smooth, uninterrupted recovery process.

Managing hospital resources isn't just about logistics - it's about enhancing patient satisfaction, reducing staff burnout, and, ultimately, improving overall hospital efficiency.

If you'd like to learn more, read about 5 Benefits of Deploying a Healthcare Asset Management System in our article.

Leverage Tech to Solve Hospital Capacity Constraints

Dealing with too many patients and too few beds can feel like an uphill battle. Effective asset management is key to solving capacity constraints in hospitals. By leveraging technology like Clinovera's asset management system, hospitals can ensure smoother patient flows, enhance patient satisfaction, reduce staff burnout, and improve overall efficiency.

Our custom systems aren't just about solving immediate problems - they help future-proof hospitals in the face of unpredictable demands and an ever-changing healthcare landscape.

If you're ready to start a conversation about improving bed management and patient care in your healthcare facilities, contact one of our experts.

Weekly newsletter
No spam. Just the latest releases and tips, interesting articles, and exclusive interviews in your inbox every week.
Read about our privacy policy.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.