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How Automating Support Services Can Promote Better Outcomes

In another life, a former mentor told me to always take care of the little things and the big things would take care of themselves. Although this person was highly successful in his profession, I had a hard time buying in to the notion.

Big things, thought the younger me, were what it was all about. But, having been in and around healthcare for many years since then, I now understand his point. Consider the importance of support services in a hospital.

While patients generally come to hospitals for “big things,” like heart surgery, joint replacement, organ replacement, disease diagnosis, etc., it’s the supporting environment that ensures successful outcomes.  A clean room free from infection, sterile equipment available at a moment’s notice, fresh linens and prompt meal delivery are just a few of the many seemingly little things that allow the value of the big things to be successful..

The quality of care goes well beyond the operating room or MRI doors. Things like moving patients promptly from point A to point B, assigning a room quickly and with the proper attributes, making sure they don’t have to wait an entire day or more to get a room, or enabling faster access to information…all of these things allow care givers to spend more time with patients.

Healthcare has been quietly adopting many of the quality and efficiency initiatives promoted by manufacturing.  Lean, process improvement initiatives, quality programs…call them what you will, healthcare is feeling the pressure of having to DO more, FOR more people, with FEWER resources than ever.  That pressure comes from everywhere; a large population of aging baby-boomers, changing payment structures and demanding regulatory requirements Dependent on each other like never before, the quality of clinical care and quality of operations must evolve in tandem.

Support services are also key to improving patient satisfaction scores and lowering morbidity rates.  In fact, they are an important part of why hospitals exist in the first place. The more efficient support services are, the better off the patient and the hospital.

Now, imagine if there was a way to make these support functions more, well, supportive. Imagine shifting the time normally wasted on useless, mind-numbing, and low-value routines to delivering better care – in other words, automating those support services.

TeleTracking’s ServiceTracking™ Automated Workflow Management does just that, by helping to:

  1. Eliminate long lead times and inconsistent service responses
  2. Defuse the potential for miscommunication
  3. Gather intelligence so you can forecast request volume
  4. Improve patient and staff service request satisfaction

The big deal about automated workflow management is that it integrates support functions – critical to so many aspects of hospital operations – and makes them available for all to see automatically, without unnecessary manual effort.

The ServiceTracking™ system can help with any hospital activity that requires management and oversight by automating and organizing the workflow from request through completion.  With its intelligent dispatching logic, the application can add automation to operational support functions, including materials and equipment distribution, facilities & maintenance, hospitality services, environmental & linens, quality surveys, as well as clinical support functions such as medication delivery, interpreter services, patient advocates and lab specimen pick up. Clinical staff can place requests through the easy-to-use, browser-based application and receive status change notifications for seamless, closed-loop communication.

Furthermore, supervisors can assign, coordinate and track employee workflow in numerous departments simultaneously, while following the progression and volume of activity so that real-time notification of delays, barriers and reassignments can be addressed faster.

Today, no hospital can afford to waste time on routine tasks, nor can it afford low patient satisfaction ratings.

The solution is to implement automated workflow management in your hospital that addresses:

  • Distribution of mobile medical equipment and supplies
  • Facilities and maintenance work, both routine and by request
  • Maintaining environment of care standards
  • Courier of medication, linens and lab specimens
  • Dietary or catering delivery and retrieval
  • Interpreter or patient advocate requests
  • PICC team requests

If your hospital struggles with any of the items listed above, we encourage you to consider implementing automated workflow management.

Let us know about issues specific to your hospital as well. We’ll try to get answers for you.

Tom Perry
Senior Product Manager – TeleTracking RTLS
TransportTracking, BedTracking®, ServiceTracking

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