Clinical Decision Unit Reaps Benefits for Florida Hospital

Reduced ER time, increased bottom-line revenue among perks

The creation of a Clinical Decision Unit has yielder a return on investment of over $5 million per year, while significantly reducing length of stay and emergency department holds at a Florida hospital.

Winter Haven Hospital is a 529-bed facility in Florida’s BayCare Health System. When the hospital began experiencing patient throughput challenges it called on its emergency medicine partner, TeamHealth, to develop solutions. The hospital’s 51-bed emergency department (ED) was holding 20 or more patients every day while waiting for beds to open on the hospital floor, negatively affecting patient flow and the timeliness of care delivered in the ED. 

TeamHealth and Winter Haven Hospital determined creating a Clinical Decision Unit (CDU), would create the functional capacity the hospital needed without the time and expense associated with physical expansion. This allowed physicians to more easily monitor observation patients and make timely decisions about their care. 

The average length of stay for patients in the CDU is now down to about 17 hours. Improved functional capacity has allowed Winter Haven Hospital to go from “last to first” among the BayCare system’s 15 hospitals in terms of length of stay.


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