Morning discharge huddles consist of multiple members of the inpatient care team and are used to improve communication and patient care and to facilitate patient flow through the hospital. However, the effect of huddles on hospital costs and patient satisfaction has not been clearly elucidated. The authors investigated how a neurosurgeryled interdisciplinary daily morning huddle affected various costs of patient care and patient satisfaction.
Huddles were conducted at 8:30 am Monday through Friday, and lasted approximately 30 minutes. The authors retrospectively looked at the average monthly costs per patient for a variety of variables (e.g., average ICU days, average step-down days, average direct cost, average laboratory costs, average pharmacy costs, hospital ratings, and hospital recommendations) and compared the results from before and after implementation of the huddle.
There was a significant decrease in the number of ICU days, average laboratory costs, and average pharmacy costs per patient after the huddle was implemented; decreased laboratory and pharmacy costs produced $1,408,047.66 in savings. There was no significant difference found for the average direct cost. The percentage of patients who rated the hospital as a 9 or 10 significantly increased. The percentage who answered “strongly agree” when asked whether they would recommend the hospital also significantly increased.
A short morning huddle consisting of key members of the inpatient team may result in substantial hospital savings derived from reduced ICU days and laboratory and pharmacy costs as well as increased patient satisfaction.