The Five “Rights” of Patient Placement

Each and every day of the year, 24/7, patients enter our hospitals in need of care. Whether the stay is related to an overnight observation, a scheduled admission, or to many other diverse cases, an urgent/emergent event necessitates an unscheduled need to be admitted. All patients should be placed in the right bed, the first time.

This is easier said than done – ask any nursing house supervisor tasked with the role of patient placement! A hospital’s readiness and ability to manage the patient flow and capacity for all types of patients who require an overnight stay is totally dependent upon its ability to provide real-time visibility to both the demands and supply of staff beds.

As all emergency medical staff, nurses, and physicians have learned in their training, do no harm; keep patients safe; and provide quality care. An example that rings as true today as when I was a student nurse many years ago is the “5 ‘Rights’ of Giving Medications”: Right Patient, Right Medication, Right Time, Right Dose, and Right Route.

In my past life, as a patient flow coordinator at a large New England tertiary-care hospital, my team and I adopted the “5 ‘Rights’ of Patient Placement” as our guiding principles for patient placement:

  1. Right Level of Care
  2. Right Service
  3. Right Nursing Unit
  4. Right Bed
  5. Right Time

This model proved to provide the best care outcomes for our patients. Patients were provided with the safest and timeliest care. Putting the “Five ‘Rights’ of Patient Placement” into practice at a hospital will greatly decrease length of stay as well.

I would love to hear your thoughts on best practice patient placement in your facility!

Happy February,

Kari