Did you notice rain on the horizon – the forecasting horizon, that is? In today’s data snapshot, Sunday has a forecasted admission to discharge ratio of 2.33 or 233% at Royal University Hospital (RUH). This means that we expect to see more than twice the number of admissions compared to discharges on Sunday.

So what’s different about this Sunday?

All we know is that in the past two years, there has been a significant dip in discharges for this particular weekend.

Data snapshot forecast of admission to discharge ratios for Royal University Hospital

The data snapshot forecast shows an admission to discharge ratio of 2.33 or 233% at Royal University Hospital for Sunday, April 26, 2015

“We forecast based on historical data, along with a few other variables. And according to our data, this weekend has a significant dip in discharges, but we can’t pinpoint the cause,” says Team three lead Nilesh Kavia. “We saw this day come up on the forecast for RUH a few days ago and it’s very intriguing. We’re really curious to see if the forecast will be right, and if it is, to dive into the cause, and, if this was widespread or in specific units.”

In the meantime, several managers have already flagged for the team that they see this anomaly coming, and will try to prepare for what could be a wacky weekend as best they can.

“We may have already changed what will happen by drawing attention to it with the forecast,” says Kavia. “And, in the end, that is the point. We want to better predict our demand so we can put measures in place to help manage through these crunch times to better serve patients arriving at hospital. The results we see on Monday will be fascinating to check out.”

Team 3 hopes that as the forecasting tool gets even more sophisticated, and the data can be created at the unit level, this will help improve a manager’s ability to better resource and schedule staff.

“We believe this forecasting tool will also help the other teams involved in the 90 Days of Innovation to dive into barriers that might be causing these unexplainable dips. This will hopefully help better level out our admissions and discharges over seven days a week so we aren’t in a situation where we are stressing the system, and our care teams and patients, on weekends,” says Kavia.

See the www.saskatoonhealthregion.ca/ReadyEveryDay website for more information about 90 Days of Innovation: Ready Every Day.

Update: April 27, 2015 – Planned response helps to avoid “whacky Sunday”