TeleTracking Blog: Conversations about optimizing hospital operations
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Are Hospitals Ready for Disaster Threat?

Are U.S. Hospitals Ready for Disaster Threat?Since 1970, the world has experienced over 125 thousand terrorist attacks, including 58,000 bombings, according to the Global Terrorism Database.

While the sheer number of events peaked in 1992 at over 3,000, attacks such as 9/11 demonstrate the need for hospitals to continue to prepare for disaster threats.

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Categories: Author: Dennis Morabito, Disaster Preparedness, Healthcare Operations Management, Operational Efficiency

Teaching Efficiency to Tomorrow’s Health Professionals

Teaching Efficiency to Tomorrow's Health ProfessionalsTo shift the healthcare paradigm in America, follow the money.

To illustrate that, Medical Educator, Dr. David Nash, recently pointed to five medical schools in Philadelphia.

“Those five medical schools aren’t focused on the health of populations,” Nash said recently in an August 15, 2014 Forbes article – ‘Health Reform as Simple as Changing Incentives.  David Nash, MD, MBA is the founding dean of Thomas Jefferson University’s School of Population Health.

Instead, they (the medical schools) focus on episodic acute care because that’s where the money is now.

“You change the way we get paid, we will change the way we practice tomorrow.”

Dr. Nash made the remarks while discussing how the Affordable Care Act is nudging our health system away from fee-for-service to population health.

It raises an interesting question. If healthcare education is influenced by the way money is made, can it also be influenced by the way money is saved?

How many U.S. schools of health administration currently have rich curricula on making hospitals operate more efficiently?

We’re not talking about over-testing or unnecessary treatment procedures, although that certainly needs to be addressed. We’re talking about shorter length of stay, better throughput, staffing to demand, etc.  Basically, all the things that go into delivering the care that students of medicine and healthcare administration will be responsible for providing.

While most recognize that there is waste in the national healthcare system, the conversation is still focused on the overuse of resources – especially on the clinical side. Billions of dollars can be saved each year by removing the waste that exists on the operational side.

We’d venture to guess that the Toyota quality and efficiency story is taught in every MBA program in the nation, along with a host of other productivity case studies.

Undoubtedly, health administration programs include case studies of hospitals that have adopted programs to make their operations better.

But Toyota’s success was built around one factor that is most likely missing in health administration curricula – automation.

For all intents and purposes, the early auto industry invented automation. Toyota’s task was to make that central process more productive while improving the quality of the cars it produced. The people-oriented process changes undertaken by Toyota took into account that automation was central to productivity.

In hospitals, the reverse holds true. Processes revolve around people. The task is to figure out how automation can enhance their productivity.

We don’t expect that automation, such as what TeleTracking provides, will ever be central to a post graduate program in healthcare administration. However, we do believe that just as medical school curricula will be altered to deal with the new reality of population health, health administration programs should reflect the role that automation can play in making hospitals run smoother and more economically.

As we shift to new reimbursement models, efficiency will become ever increasingly important to the good “health” of the hospitals that serve the population.

Categories: Author: Dennis Morabito, Efficiency vs. Effectiveness, Operational Efficiency

TeleTracking Presents New Solutions at 12th Annual Client Conference

TeleTracking Presents New Solutions at Client ConferenceAt this year’s 12th Annual Client Conference in October, TeleTracking will preview the largest array of new solutions in its 23-year history.

The lineup includes automated solutions that speed patient discharges, solutions that extend beyond the four walls of the hospital, new cloud-based applications, and a new infection fighting application – all designed to help hospitals run as efficiently as possible and provide greater access to care.

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Categories: About Us, Author: Dennis Morabito

Hospital Execs Losing Enthusiasm for EHR Systems

Hospital Execs Losing Enthusiasm for EHR SystemsHospitals continue to spend millions on the implementation of Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems. Despite this spending, a recent survey suggests that many hospital executives are frustrated with the performance of EHRs.

Premier, Inc., the 3,000-hospital purchasing alliance based in Charlotte, NC, released survey results which show that 41% of C-Suite respondents say they are either dissatisfied or indifferent toward their EHR system. The survey cites cost, difficulty of use and lack of integration as the main issues.

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Opportunities in Nursing IT Keep Growing

Opportunities in Nursing ITAs healthcare becomes increasingly more digitized, opportunities for nurses continue to grow.

Nursing informatics specialists are constantly being pulled into initiatives that deal with new regulations and new technologies, and their contributions are being recognized.

The 2014 Nursing Informatics Workforce Study shows steady increases in annual salary and the number of information technology-related post-graduate degrees.

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Categories: Author: Nanne Finis, Future of Healthcare

TeleTracking Expands Services to Help Hospitals Go Lean

TeleTracking Expands Services to Help Hospitals Go LeanTeleTracking recently expanded its consulting services to offer hospital clients enhanced Six Sigma methodology in order to optimize TeleTracking’s operational management platform for greater efficiency.

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Categories: About Us, Author: Dennis Morabito

The Advisory Board Company Reports on Process Improvement through Hospital Automation

Advisory Board ReportThe Advisory Board Company recently published the first in a series of reports on the evolution of automated patient flow in hospitals.

The report, “Bringing It All Together: How Hospitals Can Improve Care Processes with Patient Flow Systems,” written by Senior Research Analyst Anthony Perry, addresses the increasing interest in patient flow automation among European healthcare providers.

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Categories: Author: Dennis Morabito, Patient Flow

TeleTracking Offering Protects Against 2-Midnight Rule

2-Midnight RuleRecent buzz suggests that the 2-Midnight Rule may be replaced with a “kinder, gentler” short-stay payment model. But long-time Medicare watchers say, “don’t bet on it.” Even though the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is asking for input on a short stay payment structure, there’s no guarantee that the controversial rule will go away anytime soon…if ever.

The 2-Midnight Rule is intended to reduce the admission of Medicare patients who could be treated on an outpatient basis. The rule aims to limit the growth in extended observation stays at hospitals, which have skyrocketed in recent years.

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Categories: Author: Nanne Finis, Future of Healthcare, Patient Flow

“First Do No Harm” TeleTracking RTLS and the HAC Program

HAC ProgramThe Advisory Board reports that over 15 percent of America’s hospitals may face penalties for patient harm under the latest provision of the Affordable Care Act, which goes into effect October 2014.

Under the new provisions of the Hospital Acquired Condition (HAC) program, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will rate 10 patient injuries including blood stream infections, patient falls, bed sores, urinary tract infections, collapsed lungs, cuts that occur during or after surgery and blood clots. According to a Kaiser Health News analysis of Medicare data, 761 hospitals may be penalized after the first year of the program. Most of the facilities impacted are large, publicly owned, or safety-net hospitals in the Northeast and the West. » Continue reading

Categories: Author: Jon Poshywak, Hand Hygiene, Real-Time Locating System (RTLS)

Enhancing Patient Transport Using Mobile Devices

Enhancing Patient Transport Using Mobile Device600 non-monitored transports per day sounds like an overwhelming number, but to the 60 members of Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s patient transport department who cover 2.2 million square feet in this 650 bed Level I Trauma Center, it’s all in a day’s work.

So, how do they do it?

In order to answer that question, we should first look at how they used to do it.

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Categories: Author: Tom Perry, Patient Transport