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St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital Announces Latest Phase of Efficiency, Excellence and Engagement Campaign
Date:5/13/2009

Hospital Teams with RWD(R) Healthcare Practice to Streamline Patient Flow and Improve Patient Experience

BALTIMORE, May 13 /PRNewswire/ -- At a time when some hospitals are struggling financially, St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital in Texas is maintaining its profitability by focusing on efficient patient care with quality at its core. In its latest effort to ensure excellent care, St. Luke's is streamlining its transfer process for patients who need to be moved from the Emergency Department (ED) to another area of the hospital for critical care. This phase marks the latest step in three years of work between St. Luke's and RWD(R) Healthcare, a leading provider of hospital process improvement solutions.

In a short time, RWD has helped St. Luke's reduce patient transfer time from the ED to other hospital floors by approximately 66 percent. The latest effort is focused on further standardizing the transfer process so that the average wait time to be moved is no more than 30 minutes. Using various Lean approaches, St. Luke's and RWD are examining how the hospital can be more consistent in its transfer process so that patients are admitted earlier and, once cleared, discharged quickly. The work already done to improve patient flow is allowing St. Luke's to increase its patient capacity.

"Being more efficient allows our staff to focus on what's really important - caring for our patients," said David C. Pate, MD, chief executive officer, St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, and senior vice president, St. Luke's Episcopal Health System. "Our partnership with RWD has enabled us to institutionalize the culture and Lean methods needed to continuously achieve greater efficiency, excellence and engagement with quality patient care at the center of all that we do."

St. Luke's also has applied Lean methods in other areas of the ED with beneficial outcomes to the overall patient flow process. Working with RWD, patient length of stay was reduced significantly, which has led to more patients being seen per hour - 2.1 patients versus 1.7 prior to Lean improvements - and fewer patients leaving the ED without being seen - down to only 2 percent from 8 percent. These improvements allowed the St. Luke's ED to be fully prepared for an increase in patients during Hurricane Ike.

"Our efforts with St. Luke's have always been focused on allowing their staff to spend more time caring for patients by cutting through the busy work," said Mike Brown, department director, RWD's Lean Transformation Group. "We believe in a team approach to identifying and fixing flawed processes. This means that doctors, nurses and other personnel are full partners in what we do, allowing us to create positive change that lasts."

In addition to improving efficiency in the ED, RWD(R) Healthcare has worked with the St. Luke's Central Sterile Processing Department (CSPD) responsible for providing operating rooms with properly sterilized and prepared supplies and instruments. RWD was able to help reduce excess inventory and streamline the process of filling orders. As a result, St. Luke's achieved a one-time savings of $1.18 million in CSPD inventory and a recurring, annual savings of approximately $180,000 in labor.

About RWD(R) Healthcare

The RWD(R) Healthcare practice works with hospitals across the country to free both their people and their funds for better patient care. RWD's "Lean" approach to process improvement starts with a focus on people, working hand-in-hand with hospital staff to implement change that lasts. RWD process improvement solutions address challenges in critical areas of the hospital such as emergency department patient flow, perioperative services management, staff training and retention and core measure performance. To learn more, visit: http://www.rwd.com/industries/healthcare.aspx.

About RWD Technologies, LLC

RWD is a leading provider of human and operational performance improvement solutions that help employers maximize the return on their investments in people, processes, technology, equipment, knowledge and customers. Since 1988, RWD has assisted clients and partners in enhancing organizational productivity through its broad range of integrated products and services, which include human capital management and IT consulting services, business transformation and lean process improvement, end-user training, change management, knowledge management and operator effectiveness management. RWD's solutions are used in thousands of organizations globally, and in industries such as manufacturing, energy, automotive, aerospace, healthcare, life sciences, consumer products, financial, telecommunications, services, higher education and the public sector.

Based in Baltimore, Maryland, RWD serves Fortune 500 and other organizations around the world. RWD is privately held, with more than 1,000 employees in offices in the United States, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, United Kingdom, Austria, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Switzerland, UAE, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Kazakhstan. For more information, please visit www.rwd.com. Copyright (C) 2009 RWD Technologies, LLC. All rights reserved.

RWD Technologies and RWD are registered trademarks of RWD Technologies, LLC in the United States and several other countries. All other names are or may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.


    Media Contact:

    Edelman for RWD:
    Ilana Tabak
    212-704-4463
    ilana.tabak@edelman.com

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SOURCE RWD Healthcare
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All rights reserved

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