Improved real-time management of patient flow is needed to deliver an exceptional patient experience and reduce patient wait times. Even with the best staffing and scheduling software, the sheer quantity and diversity of patients, medical staff, and physical resources involved in care processes add a layer of complexity that slows down patient-flow.
High-performance teams augment advanced staffing and scheduling software with real-time workflow tools that effectively orchestrate patient flow.
Requirements For High-Performance Patient Flow
- Real-Time Patient Location Tracking
- Real-Time Patient Status Tracking
- Two-way communication between members of the patient’s Care Team
- Patient Scheduling and Staffing
Real-Time Patient Location Tracking
Care teams need to be able to quickly locate patients to provide care or usher them to the next stage of their treatment. Care teams that rely on manual location entry are too often plagued by the wasted time tracking down patients and their status.
RTLS solutions are the only passive, proven, and effective way of eliminating this wasted time in complex care environments.
Apprentice Health’s subscription Workflow RTLS module provides real-time visibility into the location and status of patients at the needed accuracy and is rapidly deployable at the level of the individual clinic, OR suite, or the entire enterprise.
Care Teams can quickly access this information via wall-mounted screens, web-browsers, and/or mobile devices, sharply decreasing wasted time.
Real-Time Patient Status Tracking
Workflow Core augments location information with Patient Status and Care Milestones so that Care Team members can quickly understand whether the patient is ready to be seen. For example, surgeons can glance at Workflow Patient Alerts and quickly understand whether the surgery is ready to proceed. These nudges are crucial in ensuring that care starts on time.
Case Study: Improved OR Efficiency at MSK using RTLS
Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Center opened a freestanding Ambulatory Surgery Center, Josie Robertson Surgery Center (JRSC) with RTLS systems for the purpose of facilitating perioperative efficiency and workflow. MSK’s Main Campus does not have RTLS technology, so the difference in the efficiency of anesthesiologists who have access to RTLS at JRSC versus anesthesiologists who do have access to RTLS at Main Campus was investigated. To that end, the study evaluated the duration from when the patient is admitted to the operating room (OR) and initiation of induction only for the first case of the day by attending anesthesiologist. The results show that the duration between admission to the OR and initiation of induction was significantly shorter in JRSC (with RTLS) than Main Campus (1).
Table 1. Duration (in minutes) between admission to the OR and initiation of induction.
Duration Values are presented as median (25th, 75th percentile). Yeoh C, Mascarenhas J, Tan KS, et al. (2018) Real-Time Locating Systems and the Effects on Efficiency of Anesthesiologists. J Clin Anesth Pain Manag 2(1):37-40.
In addition to an augmented patient experience, this decrease in OR cycle-time drives a very large margin increase for the hospital. As each minute of OR time is valued between $30-$80/min, a hospital performing 20,000 surgeries per year while achieving similar reductions in time between initiation and induction for each surgery would save anywhere between $600,000 to $1,600,000.
Two-way Communication Between Members Of The Patient’s Care Team With Automated Reminders And Updates
Communication within Care Teams is essential for delivering a great patient experience. Some teams are able to accomplish this all through face-to-face communication, while others are often scattered across a large hospital, relying on a combination of pagers, emails, and phone calls.
Apprentice Health further enhances communication through our alerts and notifications, which can be quickly viewed on LCD screens, desktops, and mobile devices. These ‘nudges’ can significantly improve patient flow, without any intrusive disruptions to clinical interactions (Workflow).
In the near future, Apprentice Health’s Smart Hospital platform will incorporate IoT enabled push buttons, voice interfaces, and AI assistants to improve communication among patients and Care Teams.
Optimal Patient Scheduling And Staffing (Scheduling and Analytics)
With Apprentice Health’s Scheduling and Analytics software modules, clinics can now take advantage of RTLS enabled data and advances in data science to automatically generate optimal scheduling templates that reflect how their Care Teams work together, respect their clinician’s workdays, and maximize their patient’s experiences.
Our software modules provide the metrics, simulations, and data-driven insights necessary for Care Teams to analyze the current state of clinic operations, measure historical trends, and monitor the effects of process improvements. Clinicians now have the means to improve patient experience and achieve consistently smooth patient flows.
Apprentice Health Workflow Core Solution
We’ve made it easy to rapidly deploy accurate RTLS across individual units or entire enterprises, eliminating all of the hassles that slowed down early adoption of legacy RTLS solutions.
Our end-to-end software and data-science solutions ingest RTLS and EHR data and solve the previously intractable problems that have prevented clinical managers from achieving high-performance operations.
For immediate access to leading experts in Patient Scheduling, Staffing, Real-Time Patient Flow Management, and RTLS technology, reach out to the team to chat.