Real-time dirty bed notifications are invalubale for housekeeping/EVS staff when it comes to improving hospital operational efficiency.

This was the topic of conversation for the 6th session of our webinar series entitled: “7 Ways to Master Operational Efficiencies in Your Hospital” hosted by Maria Romano, Clinical Product Consultant at TeleTracking.


The role of EVS/Housekeeping

Romano kicked off the presentation by outlining where EVS responsibilities lie and how the housekeeping department manages employees and prioritizes the job queue. Typical job responsibilities include (but are not limited to):

  • Unit Cleaning
  • Discharge/Isolation Cleans
  • Spills (food and bodily fluids)
  • Hospital area cleaning (waiting areas, staff areas, examination rooms, diagnostic/operating rooms)

Why is this role so crucial to patient flow & hospital operational efficiency?

Hospitals employ a robust number of EVS employees because they play a vital role in maintaining a healthy, clean, orderly and safe environment for patients. They are wholly responsible for infection control and sanitation and take pride in boosting the morale of patients they interact with on a daily basis. This important job role is often overlooked as it is not glamorous.

What Roadblocks do EVS/Housekeeping Encounter?

During a typical hospital shift, EVS/Housekeeping staff can run across numerous roadblocks that hinder them from completing their jobs on-time and – most importantly – safely.  From lack of communication amongst all parties involved in the cleaning of a discharged bed to rooms sitting empty with no dirty bed notification – all are barriers that impede the EVS/Housekeeping staff from doing their jobs.

Often, there is no accountability for failed dirty bed notifications which can lead to discharges occurring too late and not enough staff to complete the job. These roadblocks create hospital operational inefficiencies which add to the $750 billion dollars wasted annually by the US healthcare system.

Capture Dead Bed Time and Improve Hospital Operational Efficiency

One of the biggest factors attributing to this waste factor is the notion of “dead bed time.” Dead bed time can be defined as “the time the patient actually leaves their bed to be discharged until the time the housekeeper is notified to begin cleaning the bed“.

Nationally, this time averages around 74 minutes (or 1 hour and 14 minutes). Dead beds can normally be found during peak hours of the day (2:00pm-7:00pm) and, ironically, these are the times when patients are usually waiting for admission beds.

Romano provided an example of how dead bed time can equal significant lost revenue for a hospital:

Average minute from actual discharge until bed is reported dirty: 74 minutes

Annual Discharges: 9171
Lost bed hours: 11,311

Average LOS: 4.10
Potential Additional Admissions: 115
Average Net Contribution: $3,000

= $345,000 potential additional NCM

Banish Dead Beds with the BedTracking® Advantage

TeleTracking’s BedTracking® solution improves and optimizes patient flow by dramatically reducing time lags in the bed turnover process. It significantly reduces the time hospital beds sit empty with the industry’s best known, user-friendly patient flow application.

BedTracking® uses existing telephone and pager networks to reach environmental services employees, who then access all necessary information through an Interactive Voice Response (iIVR™) system. Using a browser or handheld device, supervisors can follow progress in real-time and quickly react to emerging situations. Rich reporting features show employee performance and volume trends to ensure proper staffing levels.

This improved communication and information flow helps reduce the number of STAT cleaning requests, improves bed turnover, helps streamline and optimize patient flow and banishes dead beds!

Here are key reasons why BedTracking® can answer EVS/Housekeeping operational efficiency needs:

 Intelligent Interactive Voice Response (iVIR™) Lower installation costs, shorter learning curve and easy maintenance. Also, minimal computer requirements mean you can use much of your existing computer network PC infrastructure with little or no upgrades.
 “Dispatcher-less” cleaning requests



Upon patient discharge, a staff member conducts a brief telephone transaction at bedside. This automatically alerts an Environmental Services staff member that the room is ready to be cleaned.
 Real-Time Data Updates



See bed status changes as they happen. Information is immediately updated with a brief telephone transaction upon patient discharge, instead of waiting for batch updates through the hospitals ADT system. This eliminates the problem of dirty beds remaining idle.


Automatic Delay Notification


Supervisors can be automatically alerted if a specific request has not been addressed within a pre-defined time-frame. Color-coded visual alerts show which cleaning tasks are on track and which have exceeded acceptable levels. This reduces STAT cleaning requests, increases patient through-put and identifies bottlenecks.
 Management Reports



Centralized data capture provides multiple productivity reports to help refine bed turnover and patient placement processes. Get employee and job status information in real-time or quickly access historical information to identify trends.

5 Benefits of Implementing Real-Time Dirty Bed Notifications

Maria detailed the following 5 key benefits associated with implementing real-time dirty bed notifications:

  1. “Dispatcher-less” cleaning requests mean automatic EVS notification.
  2. Real-time dirty bed updates elminate dead bed time!
  3. Automatic delay notifications improve patient throughput and reduct bottlenecks
  4. Management reports and statistics help refine bed turnover and placement
  5. Customized reporting solutions provide you with detailed reports so you can measure performance.

Real-time dirty bed notification

The Financial Impact of TeleTracking’s BedTracking® Solution

Many TeleTracking clients have seen an impressive return on investment after implementing BedTracking software. Here are a few client outcomes:

  • Pinnacle Health System, Harrisburg, PA–Reduced Labor costs by consolidating staffing office and patient logistics ($1.25 million)
  • Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY–Reduced LOS by 1.1 days resulting in a $1.1 million ROI
  • Lakeland Regional Health System, Lakeland, FL–Decreased FTEs by 15.6-a $275,000 savings in the Transportation department
  • Baylor Healthcare System, Dallas, TX–Reduced ED assignment time by 90 minutes – $191,360 savings over 5 months in salaries/wages/benefits

There’s one more session remaining in the “7 Ways to Master Operational Efficiencies in Your Hospital” webinar series with  TeleTracking’s Maria Romano, RN, BS Clinical Product Consultant. Won’t you join us? To register, click on the link below.

We hope to see you in a few weeks!


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