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At TeleTracking, we’ve always said that our clients are some of our best innovators. In fact, we count on their regular input to improve and evolve our applications,always with an eye to removing waste from their daily hospital operations.
But some of our clients in the United Kingdom have come up with one of the most unique uses of automated capacity management we’ve ever heard. They’re using the TransportTracking™ application to optimize real clinical and domestic waste collections on demand.
UK Hospitals historically schedule clinical and domestic waste staff to make “milk runs” at set times of the day and night. This leaves waste sitting in corridors or “sluices” to degrade until the waste porters arrive. Or, worse, there is no waste to collect during the round, which is a “waste” of resources.
Pre-set “items” in the TransportTracking™ application selection menu lets nurses and doctors have waste removed as needed. This frees waste porters for ‘pool’ assignments or other areas where patient moves are prioritized. More and more UK TeleTracking clients are optimizing collections in this manner.
Waste management costs the National Health System millions of pounds each year. Often there is inappropriate disposal of domestic waste in clinical waste bins at ward and unit level. With the costs of clinical waste disposal rated at four times more per ton than that of domestic waste there is a need to track what is collected and when in order to save money.
TransportTracking™ offers the following benefits:
• It provides reports (by cost center volume) showing whether clinical or domestic waste is creating the greatest demand.
• The on-demand approach encourages staff to take responsibility for waste management on their ward/unit by putting the request in when ready.
• The reports show when peak demand and troughs occur, permitting better scheduling alignment which can save money.
• On-demand pickup is likely to reduce the threat of patient contamination because clinical waste no longer has to be carted around for the duration of a two –hour collection round.
• On-demand pickup aids in complying with NHS-recommended LEAN principles, which discourage undertaking activity on a “just-in-case” or “batch” basis as well as situations where patients or materials have to “wait” instead of moving at the pace of customer demand.
All of which begs the question: “Why waste your time if you can time your waste.”