With the HIMSS Annual Conference taking place this week in Chicago, we thought it was an ideal opportunity to feature some of our great customers in healthcare. The HIMSS Annual Conference is the largest IT healthcare event in the industry, gathering healthcare professionals, clinicians and executives from around the world.
Our first feature is on Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA) – a 200 bed community hospital equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and technologies that sees over 65,000 emergency room visits per year.
As with most hospitals, efficient patient flow is critical to CKHA. It is especially important to minimize the time for a patient waiting in the Emergency Room (ER) to be admitted because the patient’s health is more likely to get worse the longer they have to wait.
For CKHA, the first step to improving patient flow was to provide better visibility for the entire staff into what was happening across all areas of the organization. They also wanted to find a way to move patients out of the ER and into a bed more quickly.
“In the past, we didn’t necessarily know when a bed would be available and ready in a timely manner. Patients were left waiting for an extended period of time in the ER,” said Sarah Padfield, Chief Operating Officer, Chatham-Kent Health Alliance. “We didn’t have a clear idea of what was happening in housekeeping. It was something so simple, but we knew that we had to do something to make that part of the patient flow work more efficiently.”
Visibility and Streamlining Patient Flow
CKHA wanted a simple way to provide visibility into what was happening in the hospital. They engaged with Oculys, a healthcare technology company focused on delivering real-time, integrated support solutions designed for healthcare organizations. CKHA deployed a software solution called Oculys Performance to give all staff members a big picture view into the flow of patients throughout the hospital. Since the staff at CKHA was already using BlackBerry® 10 smartphones, Oculys Performance is easily accessed by staff members via a web-based application no matter where they happen to be
Empowering the Housekeeping Staff
CKHA then worked with Oculys on another solution, this time for their housekeeping staff.
Deploying BlackBerry smartphones with Oculys KeepNTouch, a housekeeping application, put a powerful tool in the hands of the staff that are at the front line of care. The housekeeping app has improved communications between housekeeping and management and has reduced wasted time and energy in locating staff and assigning tasks. It has also been empowering for the housekeeping staff themselves.
Since deploying the Oculys solutions on BlackBerry smartphones, CKHA has seen tremendous reduction in wait times for patients requiring admission. Prior to implementing the Oculys solution, the average patient wait time has been reduced by 50 percent.
“The Oculys housekeeping application on BlackBerry is helping our housekeeping staff to be more efficient and has streamlined their workflow. Our admitting department has a real-time notification that a bed is clean and ready for the next patient,” Padfield explained. “It’s incredible what a seemingly simple solution has done to help us shorten patient admission wait times, and ultimately improve our patient outcomes.”
Stay tuned @blackberry4biz for more healthcare news this week!