All posts by Amie Podolak

In Hospitals: Size doesn’t matter. Capacity Management does!

Size Does MatterDoes size really matter?

As it relates to hospitals, the answer to that age-old question is no. Because no matter how large or small the hospital, it will be plagued with capacity problems unless that capacity is managed actively and correctly.

This is particularly pertinent today as the healthcare industry and the Nation await a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act. 

While the federal government demands the removal of more “waste” from the nation’s health care system, the industry is responding with the biggest building boom since World War II. The most common reason given is the aging of the Baby Boom generation, and depending upon the High Court verdict, the possibility of 30-40 million newly insured Americans seeking more medical aid. 

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Categories: Author: Michael Gallup, Real-Time Capacity Management

“Patient safety and quality – are hospitals doing all they can?”

Hospital Patient SafetyIt has been well over a decade since the landmark report To Err Is Human was released by the Institute of Medicine. That study said preventable medical errors caused up to 98,000 deaths each year. Those findings established medical error as one of the leading cause of death in the United States.

The study rocked the medical community because until then, hospital leaders believed some errors and infection were inevitable. We all accept that “accidents do happen.” But most of us acknowledge that many are preventable.  Apparently that’s not the case with all hospitals.

A controversial report released the other day by the Leapfrog Groupnoted that even now about 400 people die every day – the equivalent of one large jetliner crashing and killing all aboard– because of hospital errors.

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Categories: Patient Safety, Real-Time Capacity Management

Fighting Hospital Acquired Infections Through Social Media

Hospital Acquired InfectionsBlogger William Heisel at Antidote wants to give credit where credit is due regarding the fight against hospital-associated infection (HAI).

So he has expanded his “Immunity Map” to include hospitals which have been innovative in their efforts to curb the spread of superbugs.

Previously, the map’s sole purpose was to track infections as they are reported, based on certain criteria aimed at protecting the public. Now Heisel has taken the suggestion of readers to include institutions which have either responded to infection problems exceedingly well, or those which have come up with innovative ways to fight infection spread.

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Categories: Hospital Infection Control

Hospital Infection Control: Surprising Facts About How Germs Get Around

Hospital Infection ControlNew Study: Your office desk has 400 times the germs as an average toilet seat.  Imagine what hospital wheelchairs can carry…

A new Kimberly Clark study says the typical office desk has 400 times more germs than the average toilet seat. The study said employees pick up germs in their break rooms and spread them to their workspace. Sink faucets, microwave door handles and refrigerator handles were named the biggest culprits in the company’s Healthy Workplace Project study.

Now imagine what it must be like in a hospital, whose reason for being, in large part, is to provide a temporary home for germs until they can be eradicated by modern medicine.  If office desktops and keyboards pose a threat, then what about shared items in the hospital environment where the germs are vicious killers?  How about a wheelchair that just transferred a patient with C.diff or MRSA, or the room just vacated by that patient?

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Categories: Hospital Infection Control

Striving for Great Patient Flow Service and Products

Patient Flow ServicesIn patient flow, great products win business but great service keeps it.

At TeleTracking, the key measurement of how we’re doing is the number of clients we keep.

While we are very attentive to new business wins, annual growth numbers and the like, in our culture performance ultimately comes down to how many of our 850+ clients are with us at the start of a new year.

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Categories: Overcrowding, Patient Flow

Hospital Survey: 36% Identify Patient Flow as Number One Problem

Patient flow We recently surveyed a cross-section of management representing over 200 hospitals about the biggest challenges faced by their hospitals.

This random sampling yielded a somewhat different take on the problems than the hospital CEO surveys which hit the media around this time every year. Presumably, that’s because our sampling included people whose daily roles take them closer to the bedside than the typical CEO.

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Categories: Overcrowding, Patient Flow

Hospital Capacity: How Much Will Be Needed Tomorrow?

Hospital CapacityEmpty Threat: How Much Space Will Hospitals Need Tomorrow?

The biggest guessing game in healthcare today isn’t what the U.S. Supreme Court will do with “Obamacare” in June.

It’s about how much capacity hospitals will need tomorrow.

Right now, hospital capacity is in the intensive care unit as healthcare executives monitor its vital signs. Will volume go up or down?

Nobody seems to know for sure, despite the fact that the largest generation in U.S. history is entering its retirement years and 40 million more Americans may become insured by the High Court ruling this summer.

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Categories: Author: Michael Gallup, Real-Time Capacity Management

Using RTLS in the Fight Against Infection: Wheelchairs

Hospital HAIsSTOP THE ROLLING EPIDEMIC OF HAIs:  Using RTLS in the fight against infection

One of the biggest culprits in the spread of hospital-acquired infections (HAI) may be the wheelchair.

Wheelchairs “get sick” this way.  An infected patient needs to go to radiology, but the transporter assigned to take her is not told that she has an infection and superbugs hop onto the wheelchair for the ride.

But, since the transporter was not aware the patient was infected, he doesn’t perform the special “clean” required to rid the wheelchair of the germs.
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Categories: Hospital Infection Control, Real-Time Locating System (RTLS)

Meet the Experts: TeleTracking RTLS Workflow Consulting Group

RTLS Asset TrackingMeet the Experts:  TeleTracking Real-Time Locating System (RTLS) Workflow Consulting Group

The TeleTracking Blog Team is introducing a “Meet the Experts” series so that you can get acquainted with our team of subject matter experts.  They’re not just our experts, they are industry leaders who understand the challenges hospital staff face every day.  And, they’re always accessible.

Our series commences with TeleTracking’s RTLS Workflow Consulting Group. This talented team of equipment process flow professionals helps hospitals and health systems implement or improve hospital-specific asset management through a combination of strategic change and best practice guidelines to create optimal equipment flow processes to impact productivity, cost reductions and quality care metrics throughout your enterprise.

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Categories: Real-Time Locating System (RTLS)

Magnet Designation and TeleTracking – No Small Coincidence

Magnet DesignationTeleTracking proudly recognizes client hospitals’ significant Magnet Designation achievement!

The Magnet Recognition Program® was launched in the early 1990s by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. It recognizes healthcare organizations for quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice.

Developed by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)– Magnet recognition is one of the most significant achievements a healthcare organization can receive for nursing excellence.  The first Magnet hospital was designated in 1994. Today, more than 300 hospitals in the country hold this honor.

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Categories: Overcrowding, Patient Flow