Hospitals that do not place observation patients in a dedicated unit have great difficulty setting an expectation of a one midnight stay and a timely disposition. Moreover, providers are only compensated for a one midnight stay and can fail to reach a timely disposition on observation patients.
Does this sound familiar? You walk out of the elevator and step onto a general medical unit floor in your facility. Here, you face a bank of patient room doors. Yet, behind those doors, you probably don’t know whether those patients are “observation” or if they’re admitted patients. And that uncertainty is the crux of a problem facing many other facilities in America: a combination of observation and admitted patients on the same floor, making it a challenge for physicians and nurses in setting expectations of a one-midnight stay and a timely disposition. As a result, more often than not, observation patients are treated as inpatients even though the hospital and physician are getting paid for treating them as an outpatient on observation.
Another more prevalent problem is that without a closed observation unit, hospitals are likely to open their observation patients to their general medical staff in which it is very difficult to form a consensus on the disposition of a patient in a one-midnight category when there are many providers for all the observation patients.
As a result, your facility is probably facing some challenging operational issues such as nurses having difficulty in delivering a uniform message of a one-midnight stay prior to discharge home or hospital admission. And since inpatients and observational patients are mixed together it poses many other problems, including financial.
Finally, though, there’s a solution to this mixed bag of patients—outpatient in observation and admitted inpatients. The solution is a clear, concrete understanding of a closed observation unit. You’ll learn the fundamentals and benefits during this webcast led by Howard Stein, MD, one of the original implementers and chief proponent of this new system for reducing costs and improving communications between patients and caregivers.
It is estimated that approximately half of all U.S. hospitals don’t have a closed observation unit with a dedicated staff. Those that do can deliver a uniform message of a one-midnight stay prior to discharge home or hospital admission. A “closed” provider group of “observationalists” become skilled at providing efficient quality care to this unique group of patients.
Physician advisors, nurses, nurse practitioners (NPs), professionals working in quality, auditing and revenue cycle integrity departments.
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