You can lose precious minutes while walking between patients, equipment rooms, and computer stations. Walking to the nurses’ station to answer the phone can take up to 58 minutes each day.([FOOTNOTE=Turisco F, Rhoads, J. Equipped for Efficiency: Improving Nursing Care Through Technology. Published Dec. 2008. Accessed Jan. 29, 2018.],[ANCHOR=California Health Care Foundation Website],[LINK=https://www.chcf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/PDF-EquippedForEfficiency.pdf]) Locating supplies, equipment, or staff can consume 10 percent of a clinician's shift.([FOOTNOTE=Tucker A, Heisler W, Janisse L. Organizational Factors that Contribute to Operational Failures in Hospitals. Published Sep. 4, 2013. Accessed Jan. 29, 2018.],[ANCHOR=Harvard Business School Website],[LINK=http://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Publication%20Files/14-023_f68586ef-ffd3-4147-8178-0053916c0af8.pdf])
Wireless patient monitoring and other solutions can help close the distance and recoup time.
Wireless patient monitoring systems can reduce alarm fatigue and ensure that patients who need in-person attention get the right clinician to their bedside faster.2 One hospital that implemented wireless monitoring found a 24 percent drop in the need for bedsitters, and saw that nurses spent 4.4 percent less time on administrative tasks and more time on direct and indirect care.2
Locating systems and indoor positioning systems can quickly locate equipment, staff, and patients. One hospital adopted tracking technology for tagged equipment. This simple change reduced the time clinical engineers spent searching for equipment from four hours per day to less than 10 minutes — a 96 percent reduction.([FOOTNOTE=Wicklund E. Study: RTLS technology can save hospitals time and money, boost care. Published Nov. 17, 2009. Accessed Jan. 29, 2018.],[ANCHOR=HealthcareITNews Website],[LINK=http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/study-rtls-technology-can-save-hospitals-time-and-money-boost-care])
Discharge staff working in a hospital in Morgantown, West Virginia, previously had to walk by patient rooms to see which needed cleaning. The hospital installed flat-panel displays to alert environmental service teams about rooms ready for cleaning. As a result, calls to the housekeeping supervisor dropped by 50 percent and calls back to the bed manager nurse decreased by 20 percent.2
In Morgantown, West Virginia, one hospital implemented an admission, discharge, and transfer system to reduce delays.
Before, a nurse dropped off a patient’s chart at the front desk, but the discharge wasn’t entered into the online system until later.
After installing touch-screens at multiple stations, nurses could update patient status immediately, requesting cleaning and transport services. The new system sped up the discharge process by 30 to 60 minutes.2