We are at the start of our winter volume surge and while we have made tremendous progress since last year, more work is needed to ensure we are able to serve and accommodate as many patients seeking our care as possible. Like last winter, high demand is becoming our new normal, and we continue to identify and implement improvements. Over the last eight weeks, a committee made up of department chairs and other key leaders has come together weekly to identify improvements and new strategies for managing our increased volumes between now and the opening of the new hospital in 2018. It is clear that with our steady growth, we will continue to have to find innovative approaches and improved methods for managing patient volume even after the new hospital is opened. Some areas that will require additional focus are long length-of-stay patients, the care and experience of patients after discharge to ensure they do not need to be readmitted, and most importantly, continually reassessing all of the processes and content of our care to make certain that it matches our patients' health goals and adds value for them.
We continue to find that that a key contributor to crowding is having patients leave late in the day. Last year at this time, the percentage of patients being discharged before noon was at nine percent. This rate has jumped to 25 percent in November. This could not have been done without the close partnership we have had with all key stakeholders. And it is a reflection of the leadership of physicians across multiple disciplines who have partnered with case management/social work, nursing, clinical services and many others to tackle this issue.
A key component of this improvement in early discharges has been the introduction of twice-daily huddling with senior administrative and physician leaders to address the crowding situation. The huddles have consistent leadership presence; are multidisciplinary; and focus on quick escalation, real-time problem solving and a rapid feedback loop. Huddle teams receive specific information about the crowding situation and what key issues need attention, so they can quickly begin making decisions and taking action.
In addition, Dr. James Huddleston and a multidisciplinary team have been working to implement new workflows for ortho/joint patients. These new workflows have already demonstrated significant improvements in integration from the ambulatory clinic through the procedure, discharge and post-acute recovery areas. Patients in this area now receive a discharge day and time when they schedule their surgery, which allows staff to begin to manage and plan the logistical needs of patients before they come in for their procedure. At baseline, discharges before noon for the four physicians participating in these new workflows was 26 percent. Just weeks after implementation, this number has increased to over 40 percent, with one week hitting a 50 percent discharge-before-noon rate. This expedited discharging process will further advance our ability to grow volume, while reducing delays for patients waiting for beds in our ED, transfer center and procedure areas.
Working with faculty from the department of Psychiatry, including a nurse practitioner and case manager, the Emergency Department has created a new approach to providing care for psychiatric patients waiting for a hospital bed. The purpose is to expedite discharges from the ED with appropriate follow-up care in the community, as well as to reduce boarding time for patients waiting for hospital beds in the ED.
These are just a few examples of the multidisciplinary work being done across the hospital to address our crowding issue. Thank you for the collaboration and leadership that we have received from the medical staff, who have been working together with hospital staff from multiple disciplines, to continue to provide critical access to Stanford for our patients.