Case Management

What are the consequences of LOS reduction?

Case Management Monthly, September 1, 2010

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When there is a perfect match between your institution’s actual LOS and your expected LOS, congratulations—you have achieved LOS perfection. A case management department’s director, manager, and staff’s initial reaction to this achievement is often one of amazement, great satisfaction, and pride. 

However, almost at the same time, the team will begin to notice that LOS perfection influences the entire organization’s work intensity and productivity. Resources that may have been adequate before LOS reduction may now seem stretched as employees strive to meet higher expectations. The rapid patient turnover may make it seem that as soon as a bed is emptied, another patient is admitted to fill it. Although this quick cycle was the original goal of reducing your LOS, actually achieving the goal can represent an increase in workload and present new challenges for your organization.

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