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July 9, 2019

SVSU to offer workshops led by award-winning expert on eliminating hospital overcrowding

A workshop offered later this month by Saginaw Valley State University will help emergency department and inpatient units to better manage patient flow and avoid hospital overcrowding.


Dr. Christopher Strear, an attending emergency physician and award-winning medical facility patient flow adviser, will serve as a keynote presenter during two three-hour workshops planned Tuesday, July 30, at SVSU.


A consultant at several medical facilities in the Pacific Northwest, Strear is recognized for his work in managing patient flow. While serving as director of patient flow at Portland-based Legacy Emanuel Health Center, his work resulted in a dramatic reduction in length of stay for patients, saving the facility an estimated $3 million. For his work, Strear's team twice won the John G. King Quality Award for accomplishments in clinical quality and process improvement.


“Patient flow is one of the major issues being faced by hospitals everywhere,” said Danilo Sirias, an SVSU professor of management. “When patient flow improves, everyone wins. Patients receive better care, hospitals flourish financially, and employees feel more satisfied. Poor patient flow can lead to deaths and cost hospitals millions of dollars due to patients not receiving timely treatment.”


He said the July workshops will cover strategies providing attendees with an innovative perspective on how to analyze and overcome issues that lead to patient overcrowding.


“In this workshop, participants will hear a case where inpatient lengths of stay were too long, several patients had been in the hospital for over a year, and the emergency department was closed to ambulance traffic for 60 hours every month, on average, due to overcrowding,” Sirias said.


Using strategies that will be discussed during the workshops, those same facilities had “virtually eliminated” emergency department overcrowding and sharply reduced inpatient length of stay in a matter of months, he said.


There are two July 30 workshops to choose from: The first session is scheduled at 9 a.m. and the second at 1:30 p.m. Attendance costs $75 per person.


For more information or to register for the workshop, go to