WORKFLOW EFFICIENCY

Staffing Appropriately

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Need Help Optimizing ED Staffing? Read This

Emergency Departments (EDs) are by far one of the trickiest departments to staff due to unpredictable variability in patient and staff acuity. From asset tracking to patient flow and work flow, the impact real time location systems (RTLS) can have on the ED has far-reaching implications hospital-wide. The role of RTLS in the ED continues to expand and is playing an increasingly important role in the effective and efficient staffing of emergency medical personnel.

RTLS has been a valuable emerging technology in healthcare for several years now. Traditionally RTLS has been leveraged for asset and equipment tracking and management – but today, RTLS is playing an increasingly important role in improving healthcare workflow, efficiency, and productivity.

Imagine The Possibilities

Imagine if your ED could pull census data from the system to reveal patterns of dips and spikes in staffing needs? Or if your nurses and clinicians could be automatically assigned to patients based on their proximity to them? Imagine if your facility could manage new patient placement by balancing area-specific acuity and workload? Or if your facility could pinpoint when and where delays occur and if they are a frequent occurrence? Imagine if your ED could identify and notify staff of exposure to communicable diseases, based upon their tracked interactions with patients – that without RTLS would be next to impossible to track – and replace those staff members with another that has less of a work load and patients to tend to as identified by your RTLS software?

With Sonitor® Sense™ RTLS, there is no need to ‘imagine’ – it’s possible. RTLS is providing hospitals and medical facilities with the necessary insights allowing them to staff efficiently and effectively based on data that is gathered in real-time. Through this greater visibility administrators can make more informed decisions on where and when to staff, your ED can avoid sending a high-risk patient to an area already overloaded, and staffing decisions can be made to avoid patient visit delays and/or staff work overload.

By applying Sonitor RTLS tags to your facility’s patients, beds, staff, and equipment, you can provide your emergency medical staff with access to accurate, bed or bay-level location information, and an overview of staff efficiency and productivity throughout the ED.

Sonitor’s RTLS provides unparalleled, accurate, and reliable indoor positioning data. Combining the highest level of accuracy and the fastest update rates the market has to offer, Sonitor’s RTLS can help you track, locate, and schedule your staff in real time.

Sonitor ‘s RTLS core positioning technology, powered by SmartZoning™ technology, is based on ultrasound which delivers the most consistently accurate and reliable location data. Unlike other technologies used in RTLS (ex. radio frequency and infrared), ultrasound signals are contained by walls, floors, ceilings and even windows and glass partitions. In addition, virtual walls can be easily created to provide sub-room and chair level resolution with up to four distinct zones created with a single device.

As a result, knowing where a patient or a piece of equipment is in real time helps your ED anticipate and effectively plan work and schedule staff efficiently. With greater visibility into the status of patient rooms, operating rooms, and your overall ED—based on the movement of patients, staff, and equipment—more efficient scheduling can be realized, enabling quick turnover, optimizing throughput, improving patient flow, and ultimately increasing patient satisfaction.

Faster Room Turnover

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How Can RTLS Increase Your ED’s Room Turnover?

Patient wait times in the ED can play a key role in patient satisfaction and the quality of care delivered. Based on insights that RTLS (real time location system) analytics can enable, saving just one minute of a nurse’s time per patient per day over the course of one year, could translate into the necessary time for an LPN to care for several hundred more patients. This means more patients entering your facility, and thus greater return on investment (ROI).

Traditionally RTLS has been leveraged for asset and equipment tracking and management – but consider the value it could deliver to increasing your facility’s room turnover rate.

Imagine The Possibilities

Imagine if your EVS staff could automatically and in real time be notified that a room is ready for cleaning? Or if your staff could speed up even the most basic of tasks, such as cleaning and preparing the patient room or bay between patients? Or if at the push of a button, your staff can inform the facility that a patient has been discharged and a bed is ready and prepped for the next patient?

With Sonitor Sense™ RTLS, there is no need to ‘imagine’—it’s possible. RTLS is providing hospitals and medical facilities with the ability to reduce patient wait times by having faster room turnover rates, having a direct, positive impact on staff workflow and staffing levels. By using Sonitor® RTLS tags to locate and monitor patients, beds, staff, and equipment, you provide your emergency medical staff with access to accurate, real time bed or bay-level status information.

By leveraging RTLS, basic tasks such as cleaning and prepping rooms or bays between patients can be accelerated and as a result, room turnover can be significantly sped up throughout your facility. Specific staff that have been assigned to bed turnover are easily informed, via immediate notification through RTLS (once a patient’s badge is dropped off), that their bed is vacant. Such notifications allow EDs to fill empty beds faster, improving productivity and increasing revenue, which is linked to greater patient satisfaction and higher quality care.

Sonitor Sense RTLS can help reduce the time patients spend waiting by identifying vacant rooms and reducing delays, allowing more time for patient care and potentially shortening their time in the ED. By providing your facility with greater visibility, your staff and patients progress through their perioperative journey and key clinical milestones as fast and thorough as possible—ultimately allowing your facility to confidently do more with less.

Optimizing Throughput

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How Can RTLS Help Your ED Run at Peak Performance?

We know today’s ED  can be faced with so many diverse challenges. Whether it’s accelerating and optimizing patient flow and throughput, improving and optimizing staff workflow and productivity, maximizing and optimizing resource and spatial capacity, or improving overall patient and financial outcomes, these challenges can impact staff morale, patient satisfaction and the bottom line. As a result, facilities  need solutions that deliver efficiencies and help contain growth in medical cost while still delivering consistent high-quality care. Your facility could be facing one or more of these challenges, and we have the solution – RTLS.

Real Time Location Systems (RTLS) have been a valuable, emerging technology in healthcare for several years now. Traditionally RTLS has been leveraged for asset and equipment tracking and management – but consider the value it could deliver to optimizing throughput.

Imagine The Possibilities

Imagine if your ED could minimize crucial minutes  wasted looking for other members of staff, patients, or equipment? Or if your facility could analyze when and where delays occur, and distinguish between delays that are a frequent or a rare occurrence? Imagine if all this data could be accessed by other departments so that inter-department communication and collaboration could be seamlessly accelerated? Or if your facility’s ED could evaluate and monitor in real time the effectiveness of proposed and implemented changes and performance initiatives?

With Sonitor® Sense ™ RTLS, there is no need to ‘imagine’—it’s possible. Real Time Location Systems are providing hospitals and medical facilities with the ability to avoid wasting money on one-off problems and deploy resources (such as additional staff) more appropriately. By tagging mobile medical equipment (beds, wheel chairs, IV pumps, etc.) and providing patients and staff with RTLS badges,  your emergency medical staff will have instant, real time access to accurate, bed or bay-level location information, and an overview of workflow efficiency to best optimize throughput.

As a result, facilities can easily draw from the detailed data real time locating systems gather to help inform meaningful, long-term changes to the facility layout, patient flow, and overall workflow performance. ED’s can proactively manage staff scheduling and equipment locations. RTLS can even gauge whether delays within the ED are anomalies or consistent inefficiencies; and being able to distinguish between what is common and what is not is imperative to avoid wasting money and critical patient face-time, thus allowing staff to work proactively rather than playing catch-up.

RTLS can help EDs monitor the effectiveness of a facility’s implemented changes. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) states that, “project-specific data collected during the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) process to test small-scale process improvements … is one of the most effective levers for achieving and sustaining process improvements.” To distinguish between which initiatives are proving to be successful and which are consuming staff time and energy can help executives make the right decisions regarding ED operations and ultimately deliver improved staff morale, higher patient satisfaction and an increase to the bottom line.