A Busy Critical Access Hospital in a Rural Community
Located halfway between Wichita and Kansas City, Newman Regional Health (NRH) is a nonprofit, 25-bed Critical Access Hospital (CAH) owned by the citizens of Lyon County, Kansas. Despite its small size, NRH has ranked among Becker Hospital Review’s Top 70 Critical Access for the past five years.
The hospital’s 10-bed acute inpatient medical rehabilitation unit offers patients the opportunity to recover from serious illness or injury closer to home, following treatment at NRH or neighboring facilities. In 2019, NRH opened a 19-bed emergency room with an additional 14 beds for observation and express care.
Facilitating Rapid Transfers for Critical Patients
Like many rural hospitals, NRH had long been dependent on the county’s only Emergency Medical Services (EMS) provider for its ground transport needs. While this provider is a valued partner, its resources are frequently stretched thin across a broad jurisdiction, and, understandably, is not always able to meet the hospital’s needs.
To bridge the gap, NRH turned to Motient, a company that equips hospitals, Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), and healthcare networks with the tools and data required to ensure quality care inpatient transfers.
In August 2019, the NRH hospitalist team decided to try out Motient’s Mission Control software, which is designed to streamline the transport decision and request workflow via acuity scoring and a comprehensive logistics and communication dashboard.
Initially, NRH used the software primarily to
find alternative ground transport for its Emergency Department (ED) patients. The
team was just beginning to deploy the platform’s web application and analytics tools when the 2020 winter surge of COVID-19 hit.
Bed capacity dropped precipitously across Kansas, and NRH struggled to find receiving facilities for its transfers, especially for acute COVID-19 patients. Physicians would spend hours on the phone, calling more than half a dozen facilities searching for a bed.
Like many larger facilities nearby, NRH was soon operating at 110% of its pre-COVID inpatient acute care capacity.
The hospital needed additional help managing the time-consuming patient transfer process.