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Automated Transfers Make 'More Room at the Inn' to Save More Lives

In healthcare, it’s always gratifying to know that what you do makes a difference in other people’s lives especially when that means saving lives.

That goes for those of us who produce things that automate transfers and other patient processes to make more room available in a hospital.

Take, for example, this example from a former employee of a large regional healthcare referral facility:

“It was 7:00 am when the phone rang. The call came right in the middle of a shift change. Patient Placement staff members in the Transfer Center were in the middle of “turnover” and those entering the hospital were greeted with “High Census” signs.

But the physician on the phone had a cardiac patient with a critical condition which couldn’t be treated at his rural hospital, some 30 miles away.  His patient needed a bed.

It was the beginning of a bad day. Within an hour, three other calls came in from outlying rural facilities with patients needing to be transferred. By 11:00 am 10 more referral calls came in, for a total of 14 in just four hours.

Despite the full census, the referral center was able to accept all patients by one p.m., with one exception because the referring hospital hadn’t expected that the transfer would be accepted so soon.

The reason for this was that the referral center was using TeleTracking’s Capacity Management Suite system, integrated with TeleTracking’s TransferCenter™ applicationand following TeleTracking’s best practice recommendations.

Due to the visibility and functionality of the system and its patented electronic bedboard® feature, the receiving facility was able to expedite patient discharge from Med/Surg floors and move patients out of critical care areas and onto the units.

Before patients from outlying facilities arrived, they were able to receive bed assignments, based on discharge confirmations and even dirty bed alerts, because transfer center staff were confident the beds would be clean when the patients arrived.

Urgent cases were transferred directly to the OR and Cath Lab for treatment.

TeleTracking Systems and Best Practices allowed for automated notification of patient flow activity to all staff with screen alerts on individual PCs and messaging received via pagers and portable network phones.

Prior to adopting TeleTracking, this would not have been possible. Patients would have been placed on a waiting list or would have been transferred to a facility twice as far away. In some cases, that would have been a matter of life or death.”

TeleTracking directly impacted the care given to all 13 of these patients, because they were able to be placed in the right place at the right time to get the level of care they needed.

Still, at many large referral facilities, the “High Census” signs are out even though there is “room at the Inn.” Because of outdated manual patient tracking systems, those facilities don’t have a real-time idea of how many patients are in their beds, or how many are awaiting discharge.

Despite all the wonderful work these facilities do, it’s still likely that lives are sometimes lost because one hand literally can’t see what the other hand is, or is not, doing.

If you’re concerned about having ‘more room at the inn’ at your hospital facility, let us know.

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