The Core Of Exceptional Transport
Crothall Healthcare Patient Transport Division has redefined “patient experience” in hospital settings, with processes that build value into every patient interaction while rewarding the skills and efforts of their managers and staff. The Milton and Carroll Petrie Division of Mount Sinai Health System’s Beth Israel Hospital, an 856-bed teaching hospital located in the heart of New York City’s Lower East Side, built a successful partnership with Crothall to improve patient throughput and satisfaction among clinical and support departments providing world-class care.
Patient transport at Beth Israel’s Petrie Division was handed to Crothall in the final quarter of 2014, beginning an intense period of reorganization that created favorable impressions within and beyond its walls. Trips per productive hour rose from a dismal 0.84 in the third quarter of 2014 to a sustained high above 3, rising occasionally to 3.46. Efficiency has spurred growth in the transport department, with positions being added as other departments are frozen and budgets remain low.
“Crothall has a great reputation for responding to an urgent need in health care beyond traditional business models, and they added to their success here,” said Nympha Meindel, Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of Mount Sinai Beth Israel. “We had a great team full of passionate, motivated people from the start and they talk to every single employee in all the departments so they know they’re making the right choices.”
400% Increase in Productive Trips per Hour
625% Increase in Transport Volume
Cooperation is Key
Crothall took charge of patient transport at Mount Sinai Beth Israel’s Petrie Division after showing exemplary results managing housekeeping and patient transportation services at Mount Sinai hospitals. One of the first new policies included extending weekend hours to midnight, later changed to 24-hour coverage, to handle transport demands that were not being previously handled by the decentralized department.
The initial steps of improving efficiency required new cooperation from hospital departments and employee representatives. Crothall managers absorbed unionized transporters, who required a plan to transition policies and benefits. Managers utilized negotiations, town halls, and phased inclusion of transport needs to build a new system supported by all parties involved. The new department had merged all employees into a centralized department by April 2015.
Old Log, New Tricks
Good transport began to replace old problems without disturbing daily routines. Nurses would previously avoid delayed pickup rounds by taking blood specimens and other test material to laboratories themselves before spoilage, losing patient care time and adding false jobs to transporters’ logs. Crothall managers eliminated the time-consuming rounds and included transport requests in the TeleTracking automated system. The new system also evened out laboratories’ inflows, resulting in fewer rush times.
The new department eventually won nurses’ trust through proven results. Request completion rose from 700 per week to more than 4400 by the second quarter of 2016, when the service expanded to include the operating and post-operative care units. The average time from request to completion is a slim 11 minutes. Aggregated jobs, in which several samples are transported to a shared destination by one employee, is also a quick 20 minutes.
By the Numbers:
24-Hour Coverage after Nightly Closures
$80,000 under Budget in 2015
11 Minutes Average Specimen Transport Time
Scheduled for Success
“Staffing analysis on a quarterly basis was key to our success,” said David Girdusky, Crothall Director of Patient Transportation Services at Mount Sinai Beth Israel. “Having the right amount of staff at the right time helped us adjust during this period of great growth.” The department previous to Crothall had three static shifts, during which most transporters took the same breaks. The management team divided responsibilities into 16 daily shifts starting at different times to avoid idle or overactive times. The flexibility allowed efficiency to increase quickly while closing 2015 with the department $80,000 under budget.
Management recognizes and rewards excellence in their team. Jen Guzman, a full-time transport employee at the time of Crothall’s partnership with Beth Israel Petrie, took the initiative to train new employees and was hired by Girdusky as a manager. “Seeing where we are now compared to a year and a half ago, I have to triple check the numbers to believe them sometimes,” said Guzman. “We couldn’t have done it – I couldn’t be here – without the Crothall leadership.”
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