Hospitals-in-digital-dark-agesA recent article in USA Today titled Hospitals lose $8.3 billion using old technology said doctors and hospitals are “in the digital dark ages” when it comes to Internet and mobile technology. Author Byron Achohido based that assessment on a study done by Ponemon Institute and sponsored by tech security firm Imprivata.

According to the study, because of this hospitals lose over $3 billion a year just in wasted time involving the discharge process. The cause is the continued use of “clunky communications systems as part of the process”.

An estimated 37 minutes of the average discharge time of 102 minutes is due to waiting for hospital staff to respond with information necessary for the patient’s release,” the study said. According to the study, outmoded communication devices alone cost hospitals over $8 billion in lost productivity.

But the total amount that wasted time costs hospitals annually in productivity is likely to be in the hundreds of billions when you factor in things like bed turnaround time (the time between when a patient is discharged and a clean, ready bed is available for the next patient), revenue lost because of capacity constraints and slow bed placement processes, just to name a few.

These are costs that are easily contained through patient flow automation:

TeleTracking’s Real-Time Capacity Management™ solutions do just that by tracking patient movements, procedures, staff and physicians in real time and providing visibility and communication of what is going on everywhere in the hospital or health system at one time.

And, in addition to traditional computer desk top applications, TeleTracking offers a series of mobile devices and iPhone apps which permit real-time monitoring of hospital functions from anywhere in the enterprise. To keep things running smoothly and on time, our solutions also provide a host of pre-set alerts and notifications which can be broadcast to all forms of personnel devices, even the “old-fashioned” pager.

There is an ever building crescendo about what wasted time could be costing the healthcare industry. Until recently, when waste in healthcare was described, they were either talking about things like medical waste disposal, or waste that comes from redundant testing, bureaucratic obstacles or even fraud. Today, the challenges of wasted time and motion are being recognized as an important a factor in the healthcare cost curve – where some reports indicate as much as 40% of time spent in hospitals is waste.

That’s a significant enough challenge to pay close attention to – it’s a work in progress at many hospitals, and our clients have proven the addition of patient flow automation can make a significant impact. To learn more about how TeleTracking can help your hospital emerge from the digital dark ages, visit TeleTracking.com.


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