New patient placement center makes transfers more timely and efficient

St. Patrick’s Day brought a pot of gold when the Baptist Patient Placement Center officially opened. The center, located in the corporate building, has a team of experienced nurses and case managers who soon will track the status of and manage all 2,700 hospital beds in the Baptist Memorial Health Care system and help transfer patients more quickly and efficiently.

BPPC staff finds beds for patients who need to be transferred from departments within the hospital (emergency department, post-anesthesia care unit, cath lab, etc.) or admitted from other hospitals or doctors’ offices.

Using software developed by a company called TeleTracking, the recognized industry leader of patient flow automation solutions for 25 years, they can see where beds are available in the hospital and can quickly assign patients to available rooms at the click of a button. Nurses in the hospitals also have access to the software, so they can see immediately when a patient has been assigned a room, and they can begin the transfer process. They can also put notes in the system about specific patient needs that BPPC staff needs to know when looking for a room, such as whether the patient needs to be near a nurses’ station. After patients are moved, environmental services team members are automatically paged, so they know the room needs to be cleaned for the next patient.

“Automating and optimizing patient flow will dramatically improve the likelihood that a patient will get to the right bed at the right time for the right care,” said Derick Ziegler, vice president of regional operations for Baptist. “That’s the bottom line!”

When referring physicians need to admit a patient, they can call the BPPC directly to request a room and find an on-call physician who can care for the patient. BPPC team members have a list of on-call physicians, and they can connect the referring doctor with the on-call doctor so the two can talk about the patient. BPPC staff then use TeleTracking to locate a bed for the patient and notify the referring physician when a bed has been found.

“We believe the BPPC will be very popular with our physicians,” said Dr. Mark Swanson, Baptist Memorial Health Care’s vice president and chief medical officer. “With one simple phone call they can get their patient admitted smoothly and discuss the case with the admitting physician.”

The BPPC is monitoring beds at Baptist Memphis, Baptist Restorative Care Hospital, Baptist Women’s Hospital and Baptist Collierville, and early results have been very encouraging.

“We received more than 700 calls in the first two days,” said Katie Morrissette, director of the BPPC. “We’re even getting calls from doctors at Methodist and the VA Hospital.”

BPPC medical director Dr. David Ford, a general surgeon with Baptist Medical Group-Metro General Surgery, says the center will improve the hospital experience for patients.

“The BPPC will make the movement of patients more efficient and decrease the number of ED and PACU patients waiting for beds,” said Dr. Ford. “It will also improve patient care. The BPPC puts referring and accepting doctors together, which helps the accepting physician learn more about patients.”

The BPPC is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can be reached by calling a toll-free number, 1-844-BMH-BEDS (1-844-264-2337), from outside a Baptist hospital and H-BEDS (4-2337) from inside a Baptist hospital. Please see below to find out when the BPPC will begin monitoring beds at other Baptist facilities.

Baptist Memorial Hospital Location Date
Baptist DeSoto June 16, 2015
NEA Baptist June 16, 2015
Baptist Golden Triangle June 23, 2015
Baptist North Mississippi June 23, 2015
Baptist Union City September 8, 2015
Baptist Huntingdon September 8, 2015
Baptist Tipton September 8, 2015
Baptist Union County September 15, 2015
Baptist Booneville September 15, 2015