Waits and delays have almost become an accepted part of receiving and providing healthcare services.  As healthcare providers are expected to see more patients, any bottlenecks in the flow of patients are negatively impacting patients but also clinical and ancillary staff as well. Here are just a few use cases where, with the help of real-time technologie and redesign processes, you can better orchestrate patient flow processes to deliver significant improvements in workflow efficiencies to the benefit of patients and staff.

Outpatient Flow Optimization 

Automatically track patients through the phases of their care visit by providing patients RTLS badges at the beginning of their visits until they leave the facility. By using this information, you can automate processes and data collection related to wait room experience, care team-patient association, and care team notifications. You can also utilize EHR’s built-in RTLS related functions, and other related patient flow activities.

Inpatient Flow Optimization 

Assign patients RTLS badges upon their registration and track the patient through the various locations and phases of their hospital stay. The real-time location information, collected automatically during their stay, can be used to enhance various processes, including staff-patient interactions (i.e. staff rounding), fall prevention/intervention, patient and medical device association, transport pickup/delivery, lab/radiology visits, nurse call cancellation, wireless/mobile nurse call, and other related patient flow activities.

OR Patient Flow Optimization

Automatically track patients through the phases of their procedure by providing patients RTLS badges at the time of registration until the time of discharge. Leverage this information to automate processes and data collection related to wait room family updates, care team-patient association, activity-based costing (ABC), turnover team notification, care team notifications, block schedule optimization, and other related patient flow activities. You can, for example, notify the appropriate staff when patient is enroute to the operating room or if required equipment for a surgery is not in the room when patient arrived in the room.

ED Patient Flow Optimization

Assign patient RTLS badge to patients as they enter the ED (via first staff contact point) and track patients through the various stages of their ED visit until their eventual discharge. Automate several processes and collect data regarding: ED wait-time management, acuity based queues with estimated wait times, care team association, utilize EHR’s built-in RTLS related functions, wireless nurse call in the lobby, track visits to/from Lab and Radiology, care team notifications, environmental services notification, and other related patient flow activities.

Wait-Time Management

Monitor, predict, and notify patients, staff and departments of wait time status. Further, use wait time data to find root causes of patient flow bottlenecks and modify processes to reduce wait times.

Automated Bed/Room Management

Automatically identify and validate patient discharge so that rooms can be cleaned and readied for new occupants in as short time as possible.

Locate and Monitor Status of Patients

Provide full transparency and access to patient movements and location to facilitate a more efficient experience and better level of care and satisfaction.

Patient Status View Boards

Provide staff with an at-a-glance view of room/procedure statuses in any department using an RTLS- enabled view board at nurse stations, employee access only areas, registration areas, and other locations where staff would benefit from such information.

Patient Check-In

Facilitate the automated check-in process for patients to eliminate waiting lines through the use of individual RTLS patient badges.

Staff Notification of Patient Arrival

Provide staff with an at-a-glance view of room/procedure statuses in any department using an RTLS- enabled view board at nurse stations, employee access only areas, registration areas, and other locations where staff would benefit from such information.

Intelligent Patient Routing

Proactively reroute patients to next available resource when they are scheduled for multiple visits on the same day.

Patient Transfer Notification

Use real-time location information to notify unit staff and provider when patients are en-route and when they arrive.

Transitional Care Coordination

Track and monitor patients as they are prepared to be discharged in order to coordinate transport, room cleaning by EV, discharge processing, family pickup, educational material review, and other related activities that streamline the patient outgoing transition process and readying the room for the next patient in the most efficient manner possible.

Inpatient Home Medications Tracking

Upon admission, collect patient’s home medications in a special bag with an RTLS tag associated with it and track it through pharmacy for verification and back to patient’s room to ensure they are not lost and that the verification is completed efficiently.

Automated Patient Status Notifications

Automatically notify staff on important patient statuses, such as patient ready to be seen, patient in procedure room, patient in a stairwell for more than 10 minutes, or patient has been in an exam room for more than 20 minutes without a staff person coming in.

Locate and Monitor the Status of Staff

Provide immediate access to staff location and status when this type of information can enhance patient flow processes.

Staff Assist Request

Provide a mobile method of calling for non-emergency help through the personal staff RTLS badge.

Staff Wayfinding and Route Optimization

A routing/wayfinding system will help route staff find their destination in the most optimal manner using real time location technologies.

Hourly Rounding

Use RTLS technologies to prompt hourly nurse rounding. Making hourly rounds provides nurses with a surveillance mechanism to purposefully keep patients safe and comfortable by proactively meeting their needs. With an RTLS system, you can also record time and frequency of nurse-patient interactions to provide necessary information in case of patients’ complaints.

Dynamic Task Assignment

With the use of staff status information in the RTLS system, task assignments can be automatically made based upon staff availability and location.  With a real-time view of current workloads by individual, resource leveling decisions can be made as needed.

Wired Nurse Call Cancellation

Utilize RTLS location and proximity to automatically log entry and response time by staff to wired nurse call systems.   This proximity sensing will also automatically clear the call alert without manual intervention by staff and turn on a light above the door if one is installed.

Observation Patients at Risk of Overstaying

Notify appropriate personnel in the event of observation patients approaching the regulated time restrictions that are used to gauge billable vs. non-billable situations.

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