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Conversations about Optimizing Hospital Operations

TeleTracking Salutes Super Nurse Jaclyn Hunter

Jaclyn Hunter, RNFaster than a speeding bullet” certainly fits. So does “more powerful than a locomotive.”

But even Super Nurse Jaclyn Hunter can’t leap tall buildings in a single bound. She still has to take the elevator. 

Jaclyn was the first nurse to send us a photo of her wearing one of our Super RN T-Shirts, which were given away in honor of Nurses Week. And Jaclyn certainly qualifies as a Super RN. She’s a performance improvement nurse, which means that she works to ensure that quality and safe patient care is provided to every patient at Sierra Vista Regional Health Center in rural Arizona. 

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Categories: Patient Flow

EMRs: Taking the Slow Lane to Progress on ROI

EMRs:  Taking the slow laneWhile the cost of digitizing the “patient experience,” medical records and all, is soaring, no one seems to be asking about the ROI.

The question is: Why not?

Duke University Health System will spend $700 million over seven years to build out its digital backbone, according to the Duke Chronicle. Yale medical group will spend $250 million to switch to a large EMR vendor next year, the Yale Daily News says.

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Categories: EMR / Healthcare IT, Financial Health of Hospitals

Healthcare IT Vendors: Make the Hospital’s Mission Your Mission!

Cost, Quality, AccessHealthcare has been compared to a three-legged stool. One of the legs is “Cost.” Another is “Quality.” The third is “Access.”

Most three-legged stool analogies end with “you can have two, but you can’t have all three.”

We don’t see it that way, because everything TeleTracking makes or does, in fact, addresses all three.

Our Real-Time Capacity Management™ platform:

•    Reduces cost and adds revenue by increasing the operational efficiency of a hospital.

•    Provides better access by increasing the utilization of existing space 20 percent or more.

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Categories: No Margin, No Mission

The Affordable Healthcare Act: Go or No Go?

Affordable Healthcare ActDoes anyone really know what the Supreme Court did last week?

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act is good news for suppliers of the type of medical information technology which helps hospitals maximize existing capacity.

That is, if the high court actually upheld the Act.  That is once again in dispute as a second round of critical analysis gets underway to determine what the court actually did rule. Writing in the New York Times’ Health Care BlogJeff Goldsmith didn’t see last week’s ruling as a win for the act.

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Categories: Author: Dennis Morabito, Financial Health of Hospitals

The High Cost of “Free” Patient Flow Software

Cost of FreeAs the saying goes, if you think you can have it all, you probably don’t know what you’re missing.

That’s very often the case when hospital technology vendors “throw-in” free software. The cost of “free” goes up in direct proportion to the number of capabilities left out.

Hospital patient flow and capacity management software is a very good example.  As federal incentives gave the EMR market a huge boost, some vendors acquired start-up patient flow companies. Others developed “bed tracking”, “bed management” or “transport” applications and offer them “free” as part of the multi-million dollar price tags and multi-year implementations hospitals sign up for.  While these offerings may provide basic patient flow, or more likely, visibility into broken processes, they do not offer the true sophisticated data analysis capabilities, workflow automation and hospital operations expertise needed to manage hospital enterprise capacity in real time.

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Categories: EMR / Healthcare IT

ED Hallway Boarding Victims and Hospital Infection

ED Hallway BoardingWe all knew hallway boarding was bad for patients. Now we know a little more about why. It has to do with hospital infection.

A study at Brigham and Women’s Hospital showed emergency room caregivers were least likely to practice good hand hygiene when tending to hallway patients. The study, which was the  largest ever focused on ED hand hygiene, supports studies in Ireland which said boarding was another way hospital infection was spread.

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Categories: Hospital Infection Control, Overcrowding, Patient Flow

Automation in Hospitals: Why is it “taboo” in many?

NursebotNot long ago, the word “automation” was taboo throughout the hospital industry.

Hospitals were under increasing criticism for discharging patients prematurely and “automation” conjured up images of assembly line medicine among the general population and healthcare employees alike. The hospital culture argued that “each case is different” and “these are human beings, not cars.”

While every case may indeed be different from others in the same category, the processes surrounding the treatment of each case have some similarities. Patients have to be checked in, registered, assigned a room, tested, treated, stepped down, healed, tested again and finally discharged, often to another facility. At most hospitals, those processes include many, many manual tasks related to the movement of those patients through the institution. A large majority of those tasks can now be automated via computer software and real-time location technology.

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Categories: Author: Dennis Morabito, Real-Time Capacity Management

Nation’s Overcrowded EDs: Biggest Challenge for Hospitals, Study Says

Emergency DepartmentThe current overcrowded status of the nation’s EDs is the biggest challenge claim respondents to a survey conducted recently by HealthLeaders Media (see Best EDs Focus on Flow.)

Nearly half identified overcrowded EDs as the No. 1 challenge, and more than half say overcrowding in the ED will jeopardize patient safety.

Forty six percent said overcrowding exists in their hospitals and almost 100 percent say they’ve been taking action to alleviate the problem. Just 25 percent were expanding their EDs.

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Categories: Real-Time Capacity Management

How Nurses Can Impact Length of Stay

Length of StayLength Of Stay is an odd reimbursement metric.

It basically ignores the fact that each individual presumably heals at a different rate, and instead relies on the law of averages.

With reimbursement regulations like LOS due to stiffen, hospitals are scrambling to find better ways to comply. One way is to look at the many activities surrounding healing to determine if they can be done in less time.

Maria Romano knows a lot about time. For the past seven years she was the Patient Logistics Operational Manager at St. Peter’s Health Care Services in Albany, NY.

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Categories: Author: Dennis Morabito, Real-Time Capacity Management

Was Your Hospital Software “Installed” or “Implemented”?

Installed vs. ImplementedIt may seem like semantics, but if you think “installed” and “implemented” hospital software are essentially the same, you could be heading for disaster.

Understanding their correct definitions can save you a lot of headaches – with your hospital software vendor as well as your boss.

There are many ways to describe the difference, but the simplest is this:

  • Installation gets the item working.
  • Implementation gets it working for your hospital’s needs.

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Categories: Hospital Software Implementation