Becker’s Hospital Review Survey Identifies Greatest Time Wasters for Nurses: 3 of the Top 5 Are Areas Where a Real-time Location System (RTLS) Can HelpOn September 15, 2010, Becker’s Hospital Review reported on an online survey conducted by The Health Management Council to reveal which activities were the biggest time-wasters for nurses.
Not surprisingly, clinical documentation was rated as #1 with 55% of nurses reporting that documentation creates inefficient processes. But maybe surprising to some, 3 of the top 5 time-wasters are areas where a real-time location system (RTLS) can help:
#2 - Locating Supplies and Equipment | Nearly 20% of nurses report that locating supplies and equipment means having less time to spend with patients.
#3 – Patient Flow | 15% of nurses report that waiting for exam or treatment rooms to open, locating patients who have been mistakenly assigned to other units, and locating a bed for a patient when the unit has no available space waste valuable time
#5 – Redundant Communication with Families | 11% report that communicating to multiple family members about updates on a patient’s condition or discharge information is a time challenge, and that several different nurses typically have to pass along the same information.
You can read the article written by Leigh Page titled Survey Identifies Five Greatest Time-Wasters for Nurses in its entirety - just click on the link.
A Real-time Locating System (RTLS) provides valuable insight into the location, status and movement of equipment and patients through the hospital enterprise. In addition to locating equipment and supplies, this location information can be used to automate patient flow and communication processes within hospitals.
As I wrote in this blog back in May, RTLS can have a significant impact on nurses’ time spent on patient care. With RTLS, nurses can use any hospital computer or mobile device to locate a particular piece of equipment or person. Furthermore, with Awarepoint RTLS software, the interface is intuitive, offering simple, one-click searching capability. With the selection made, a map appears pinpointing the location or status of the asset or person.
Patient flow challenges also impact nurses’ time. With RTLS, patient tracking and transport applications can provide data which have significant effect on improving patient flow by providing valuable insight into locating patients and room availability.
And, with new mobile applications being developed for RTLS systems in conjunction with patient tracking, nurses can electronically message multiple family members with updates about the status of their loved ones … all from a single messaging platform. Messaging such as: patient being prepared for surgery, patient in surgery, patient in recovery, patient moved to inpatient room, etc. can be triggered based on the tracked location of the patient in the process.
RTLS solutions today have moved well beyond just locating equipment (although as you can see from the above, this is still a powerful value driver for these systems).
Do you think nurses in your hospital would agree with the top 5 time wasters? It might be time to ask and consider how RTLS can improve direct patient care time, impact patient flow and address communication challenges. That's in addition to analyzing the hard dollar savings realized by RTLS asset management operational efficiency which includes reductions in lost equipment, lowering equipment rental costs and increasing equipment utilization...