Telling the Hospital Story: University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Wide shot of the UPMC Mercy campus with the UPMC tower in the background on the left

UPMC Closes Care Gaps with New Patient Discharge Process

Upon the successful completion of their treatment, most hospital patients are ready — actually, more than ready — to check out and go home.

But the discharge process is often very slow, requiring lots of paperwork, various consults and too many people involved in the process before a patient is sent home or to the next care site.

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) did not want a patient’s departure from the hospital to be an avoidable pain point.

Across its 40 hospitals spread around Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland, the health system has eliminated redundant processes and reduced the time and number of people involved in a discharge while boosting patient satisfaction scores.

UPMC’s redesign of its patient discharge process created a streamlined program overseen by one clinical care coordinator. The simplification ensure a smooth transition and executives say the program has shaved 3–4 hours off of the whole process.

On the day of discharge, patients are now walking out the doors by noon rather than late afternoon.


Patients are have expressed their delight by boosting UPMC’s HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) scores by almost 10%.

Tami Minnier, the Pennsylvania health system's senior vice president of health services and chief quality & operational excellence officer, says “There's a lot that we've been able to improve, and I really think we're only scratching the surface of what we can gain.”

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