The Rapid Patient Discharge Tool (RPDT) was developed by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to assist hospital administrators and emergency managers during unexpected increases in patient volume. The tool provides adaptable plans for rapid patient discharge based on promising bed surge capacity practices. It involves two sections: planning and response. The planning section provides an organizations structure that hospitals can implement to enhance rapid patient discharge during an emergency situation. The following activities are addressed as planning components: 1) Organizing a bed management team; 2) Organizing unit-based rapid patient discharge teams; 3) Developing a physician involvement coordination team; and 4) Organizing patient care unit “walk-through” teams.
The response section of the tools addresses the actual implementation of key rapid patient discharge activities. Response components include obtaining an accurate bed census and engaging the various teams identified during the planning phase. The tool contains numerous templates for the activities it outlines, and it appears to be a valuable resource for staff involved in hospital discharge planning. It may be especially useful for staff with little experience in bed management who are called to direct tool-related activities in an emergency.