Long patient waits, bed shortages, and resource wastage are common problems across hospitals. With healthcare reform aiming to expand healthcare outreach, hospitals need to increase capacity to prepare for the expected surge in patients once healthcare becomes affordable and accessible to America’s uninsured and the aging community. Enterprise mobility can help organizations achieve this target with efficient hospital capacity management.
In most cases, hospitals are not short of capacity or resources. It’s just that capacity isn’t fully utilized. Resources are not tracked, equipment is often lost or misplaced, patient discharges are not aligned with admissions, and inventory is overstocked to prevent shortages. Inefficiencies in capacity management lead to bottlenecks that impede productivity of staff, impact revenue, and create patient dissatisfaction.
Components of Hospital Capacity Management Solutions
Hospital capacity management solutions work because they view the hospital as a whole, breaking down its silo structure. They are a function of process improvements, change management and technology.
Real time location technology is leveraged in mobility solutions to enhance workflows. Authorized staff access mobile dashboards on which they receive time or event based notifications for timely proactive action. The dashboard helps organizations keep track of equipment, patients, physicians, and staff members for maximum workflow utilization.
The occupancy status of a bed can be instantly communicated to the right people instantly through mobility solutions. Workflow maps can be used to track beds, occupancy and staff status in various wards for quicker admission, bed preparation (disinfection, etc.), discharge, transfers, etc. Any delays or workflow bottlenecks can be detected and resolved for higher patient accommodation, reduced patient wait times, and optimal resource utilization.
Staff members take care of equipment in their department but easily lose track once it’s moved out. With mobile dashboards, staff can track when equipment enters a room, leaves a room, is lying unused, etc. Patients need not wait around as staff locates a wheel chair or stretcher for their transportation. Asset management leads to cost and time savings as hospitals don’t need to procure extra equipment as a safeguard or maintain it. Inventory is managed effectively so that products with lower shelf life are consumed first, wastage and expense is reduced.
Quality patient care
Capacity management solutions streamline patient care workflows. By aligning patient discharges and admissions, hospitals can treat more emergency department (ED) patients, speed up the discharge process, enable smooth elective admission, and optimize physician and surgeon’s time through effective surgical block scheduling.
Hospitals that have implemented custom mobile solutions for hospital capacity management report:
- improvement in resource utilization rate (up to 40%)
- higher patient safety with equipment compliance, tracking, and quality verification
- higher operation room (OR) utilization rate
- lower ED congestion
- better patient care through predictive modeling and analysis
- reduced capital and operational expenditure (savings of 10%-20%)
- profitable revenue cycle
- improved patient experience
Mobility solutions are effective in hospital capacity management as they enable real time communication between hospital staff, enabling quick decisions, tracking, and preventive action to smoothen workflows – a must for hospitals to differentiate their services in an increasingly competitive market.