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Untangling the capacity challenge
Medicine/Sickle Cell unit earns YNHH’s first Capacity Champions Cup for patient throughput


Staff with the Medicine/Sickle Cell unit (EP 6-7) recently received Yale New Haven Hospital’s first Capacity Champions Cup for meeting patient discharge targets. The award recognizes units’ efforts to improve patient throughput and ease overcrowding.

On March 8, the Medicine/Sickle Cell unit (EP 6-7) received Yale New Haven Hospital’s first Capacity Champions Cup award – which recognizes units that meet their discharge target the most days in the previous month.

The award is part of Yale New Haven Health’s efforts to improve patient throughput by ensuring that patients who are clinically ready to leave the acute-care setting experience a safe and timely discharge. In addition to enhancing the quality and safety of care, efficient patient throughput helps ease overcrowding on inpatient units and in the emergency departments. 

In presenting the award, hospital leaders praised EP 6-7 staff, including Ebony Johnson, RN, patient services manager; Jessica DeMaio, RN, assistant patient services manager; Kelly Gullesh, RN, care coordinator; and staff from Care Management, Environmental Services and Rehabilitation. All work together to assess and prepare patients for discharge and ensure that rooms and staff are ready for incoming patients.   

EP 6-7 has implemented a number of procedures to improve discharges. These include a daily 9 am huddle, during which providers, a care coordinator, business associate, chaplain, charge nurse and patient care associate meet to discuss which patients could be discharged that day, and any barriers to their discharge. 

“Multidisciplinary communication and collaboration early in the shift have been integral to improving our discharge processes and workflows,” DeMaio said. 

EP 6-7 is also participating in a pilot program in which the unit has two unit care coordinators versus one. The “travel care coordinator” helps the unit care coordinator better manage the heavy patient discharge workload.

The Capacity Champions Cup will be awarded each month.