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    New Patient Flow mobile app improves efficiency and satisfaction

    March 27th, 2015

    When a transporter at Camden Clark Medical Center (Parkersburg, West Virginia, U.S.A.) first saw the new Allscripts Patient FlowTM mobile application, he said, “Where have you been all my life?”

    Reactions like these tell us we’re on the right track in designing solutions that save precious time for hospital staff. Camden Clark agreed to be an early adopter for the new and improved Patient Flow 15.1, and has been previewing the application since January.

    I recently talked with Camden Clark Clinical Analyst Deanna Boothe, RN, MSN, who shared her experience and what she likes best about the new version. Here are highlights from our conversation:

    Q. Why did you agree to become an early adopter for the new version of Patient Flow?

    A. We were due for an upgrade of our Patient Flow software. At Allscripts Client Experience (ACE) in 2014, I saw a demonstration of Patient Flow 15.1. As a nurse, I was really drawn to the new mobile app and the transport integration with Allscripts SunriseTM Acute Care. Seeing how much it would improve workflows for the end users motivated me to take the leap and upgrade.

    Now we get to test and play around with the solution, and show it to the transport and housekeeping staff. It’s not released to all users yet at Camden, but we’ve completed all the functional testing.

    Q. What is your favorite part of the new version of Patient Flow?

    A. The mobility piece is just heavenly. Because housekeepers and transporters don’t sit behind a desk, it only makes sense that they have a mobile tool. They are elated and can’t wait to have access to the application.

    Currently, transporters receive jobs through emails and housekeepers through pagers. They can receive information but can’t respond to it – it’s a very one-directional form of communication. Instead, they have to stop what they’re doing, find a phone and use an interactive voice menu to indicate that a job is in progress or complete. It’s intrusive to their workflow.

    With the new Patient Flow mobile app, they’ll be able to check in with their mobile devices from the point of service. They also have access to more detail about the job – for example, if the patient requires isolation precautions. It can be more of a conversation, which helps them stay more engaged with the rest of the care team.

    Housekeepers and transporters are really valuable team members. It’s only fitting that they have new technology to help them be as efficient as possible.

    Q. How does Patient Flow help improve patient safety?

    A. Because Patient Flow is integrated with Allscripts Sunrise, we can more fully communicate about the patient. For example, if a patient is a high fall risk, the transporter will know that and can offer extra assistance.

    Q. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your experience?

    A. I need to give credit to the Allscripts support and development team. The entire team is supportive and responds promptly. I can’t put into words how important that is to us. It’s a huge selling point.

    ***

    Thanks to Deanna for sharing her experience with Patient Flow 15.1, which is now generally available. To learn more about Patient Flow, download a free eBook.

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    Patients shouldn’t have to wait for a bed

    July 16th, 2013

    Mastering the patient flow of an Emergency Department starts with the inpatient units. For many hospitals the biggest opportunity for improvement is to eliminate “cold beds.”  These are empty, dirty beds, just waiting to be cleaned. People often blame poor, inefficient housekeeping processes, but that is almost never the issue.

    The real culprit is frequently poor communication.  Housekeeping needs to find out about a vacated bed when the patient really leaves – not hours later. That’s where software, such as Allscripts Patient FlowTM, can help.

    Automated communications can help optimize patient flow, balance workloads and gather data. In addition, it can improve patient and staff safety by providing real-time visual cues and alerts that relay isolation precautions, patient needs and bed condition.

    Using technology to improve bed turnover time

    The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston, TX) treats more than 100,000 patients each year. Maximizing capacity is critical to its mission, to eliminate cancer as a major health threat.

    It established a committee to help improve patient flow, specifically to address bed turnover. The committee identified key selection criteria for technology, including:

    • Intuitive interface for a wide variety of end users
    • Ability to easily extract data and reports while preserving patient confidentiality
    • Intelligent work engine to automate communications and alerts

    MD Anderson streamlined its processes and implemented Allscripts Patient Flow. Now, as soon as a bed is open, the system transmits an electronic cleaning request, assigning staff based on availability and location.   It has optimized communications to reduce bed turnover time, increase efficiency, and decrease patient waiting time, while contributing to a better patient care environment. Specific outcomes include:

    • Reduced bed turnover time by more than 45%
    • Increased transport volumes from 162,457 to 225,903 within five years
    • Lowered discharged patients’ wait times
    • Raised patient satisfaction by improving bed availability
    • Enhanced patient safety by reducing unnecessary telephone calls in nursing workflow
    • Improved resource utilization, accountability and staff morale

    To learn more about Patient Flow, you can read the MD Anderson case study or access a recent webinar.

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