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Enhancing Patient Transport Using Mobile Devices

600 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.

 

Using the traditional IVR system, the individual transporter:

  • Located an open land line
  • Called the IVR system via a land line to receive their job
  • Called the system after reaching the patient room
  • Transported the patient
  • Located an open land line
  • Called into the system to report completion of the job

The inefficiencies created by looking for land lines and repeatedly calling the system wasted substantial amounts of time, created unnecessary delays, and resulted in excessive costs. Transporters were unable to do other tasks during slow times because they only received new jobs when they periodically called into the system. If a delay in the hospital prevented the transporter from getting the patient to their destination, they had no mechanism to notify the department about the issue.

Cost was also an issue. Spending thousands of dollars per year on pagers and the paging service for the transport department also affected the bottom line.

Vanderbilt’s search for transport process improvements led them to implement TeleTracking’s mobile XT application for Apple® iPhone® and iPod® touch® devices. This app gives environmental services and transport employees the mobility to accept jobs, register completed jobs, indicate delays, suspend requests and receive notifications from a handheld device.

The mobile XT application improves performance by eliminating the 1-2 minutes formerly required to find and access telephones, and enabled the hospital to increase transport team productivity during downtime; which is exactly what the transport department at Vanderbilt hoped to do.

If the average patient transport takes 20-25 minutes, most employees typically complete 2-3 transports per hour. Since implementing the mobile app, the Vanderbilt transport department reduced transport time by 2-3 minutes per job, equating to about 8.5 FTEs per year.

Real-time data is another useful feature of the mobile XT app. Vanderbilt may now assess processing times more accurately and notify team members of delays as they happen.

Going mobile also eliminates on-going pager costs, allowing users to save thousands on pager expenses each year. While there is a cost associated with the purchase of the iPod® touch® devices used with the mobile XT application, they typically pay for themselves within a short time.

Kudos to the entire patient transport department at Vanderbilt University Medical Center on their efficient management of an incredible patient volume!

If you are interested in understanding how your organization can benefit from improvements similar to those implemented at Vanderbilt, or would like more information on TeleTracking’s mobile XT app, please contact us at marketing@teletracking.com.

To read some of the frequently asked questions about the mobile app, click here to access: FAQ: mobileXT.

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