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The shift to ‘Patient Centered Care’ always seemed curious. After all, what else would the focus be if not the patient?
The paradigm shift has to do with the way that success is measured. The old measurements for reimbursement were for what went ‘into’ healthcare, like the number of procedures, tests and physician visits. The new metrics are what comes ‘out’ – like patient satisfaction, cost savings and actual outcomes.
Considering the whirlwind of trends, influences and events surrounding the U.S. healthcare system, this was a game changer.
Patient satisfaction and outcomes rely heavily on hands-on care. Yet hospitals have traditionally reverted to cutting staff as the preferred way to cut costs. Consider the fact that the aging Boomer generation will fill hospitals with more patients facing more serious illnesses. Stir in the predicted shortage of doctors and nurses in the near future, and you start to understand just how much the game will change.
Cutting staff would be like cutting your nose off to spite your face, or shooting yourself in the foot (to torture another metaphor), because it would lead to poor outcomes and unhappy patients. Adding staff to deal with census increases may not be possible, since freshly minted doctors and nurses will be a scarcity and those who are around will be hired at a premium.
Here’s where TeleTracking comes in. To keep front line personnel on the front line, the best solution may be automation. We’re not talking about Star Wars-type robots wheeling around trays of food and medication, although that certainly works too! We’re talking about the kind of automation that frees staff of low-priority manual workflow functions so that they can spend more time caring for their patients.
TeleTracking’s patient flow software eliminates hours of phone time previously required to get a clean bed, place a patient, order a transporter, or arrange discharges.
Also, the real time aspects of our solutions provide unmatched transparency into all the functions that support the caregiver. So bottlenecks can be diffused before workflow comes to a halt.
And automating workflows can enhance staff productivity so much that it’s like actually adding full time employees.
Another benefit to automation is the ability to optimize the use of all your resources, including treatment areas, staff, medical devices and space. TeleTracking expedites throughput in perioperative areas, keeps track of patient and staff locations, makes sure patient rooms aren’t under-used, and locates medical devices so nurses don’t have to spend hours searching.
Automation helped make America the most productive country in the world. It can do the same for America’s Healthcare System. With the shift to patient-centered healthcare, now is the time to give automation a try.