NAHTM Conference 2019

At TeleTracking our mission guides us―to ensure that no one will ever have to wait for the care they need. Providing transporters with the technology, processes, and guidance they need is one way to make sure this happens—and this is where the National Association of Healthcare Transport Management (NAHTM) comes into play.  The group is dedicated to the professional development and education of hospital-based, patient transportation managers and their staff, as well as to the improvement of practice within those manager's respective departments.  I’m happy to be writing this from their annual conference, which is being held in San Juan, Puerto Rico this week.

NAHTM 2019 ConferenceAn organization focused on healthcare is by nature compassionate and NAHTM really tries to give back to the community.  In fact, that’s why Puerto Rico was chosen for this year’s conference—it’s a way to show support as the island continues the recovery process after Hurricane Maria.  They also support a charity that buys shoes for underprivileged children called Gotta Have Sole.

The true focus this week though is on transport―the important role it plays in overall operations and how it drives a positive patient experience.  More than 30 health systems are represented here this year—some are TeleTracking clients, some are not, but all have resulted in interesting conversations!  Driving those conversations are sessions on topics such as:

  • Standardizing Transporter Training with Kaizan
  • Patient Transport and Infection Control
  • Improving the Specimen and Lab Transport Process
  • Handoff Strategies Between Transportation and Nursing
  • Patient Transportation―The Backbone of Hospital Throughput

Personally, I’ll be at the podium on Friday presenting on what we’re doing here at TeleTracking―with our relentless focus on providing the best experience for patients and the best culture for caregivers through the implementation of health system command centers and mobile applications.  I also had the opportunity to participate in the vendor exposition where I demonstrated how efficient transport supports efficient throughput. In addition, I’m updating members on our ongoing benchmarking partnership―which utilizes data from TeleTracking and non-TeleTracking clients to set national standards on patient transport metrics.  New participants have been added this year, data has been refreshed and we’ve evolved to a new modeling approach using the power of SynapseIQ

As healthcare continues evolving, so is NAHTM, as leadership is shifting and the organization is moving beyond regional transport focused groups, but into a broader focus on patient flow.  These types of partnerships are so valuable because we can all learn from each other—and improve healthcare collectively for both patients and caregivers.

More updates and insights from NAHTM

  • Vendor Showcase
    • TeleTracking took part in the vendor showcase where we had the opportunity to interact with members and other conference participants in a mini-trade show environment.  This year, however, was a little more solemn as the showcase started with a memorial tribute to Peggy Theil, NAHTM’s Vice President and a Transport Brand Manager with Sodexo, who passed away earlier this year.  She and I had worked together frequently over the years and I was honored to present her family with a “Basket of Love.”  NAHTM has re-named the vendor showcase after her.
  • I spoke with many current, former and prospective customers during the showcase.  Mobile and the recently added ability to modify priority were big hits. Another key topic was interoperability with EMRs and dispelling some of the myths in the marketplace on our capabilities.
  • TeleTracking Presentation
    • Last Friday, I had the opportunity to present TeleTracking’s capabilities during a general session, focusing on our transformation and recent updates to our Transport solutions.
  • When the topic of Health System Command Centers came up, most attendees said things like “we are already doing this” or “our organization is planning on this in the next few years.” 
  • Benchmarking
    • NAHTM’s updated tools to review the data sets of the health systems participating in our benchmarking study were very well received.  We will continue working to recruit additional data contributors―and look to post results on both the TeleTracking website, as well as NAHTM’s member site in 2020.  We currently see two main variables that impact performance―facility size and job volume. More to come on this in 2020!

While I couldn’t attend every breakout session, I did attend several presentations where our customers talked about how they are using TeleTracking to change processes and improve operations.  Some notable highlights:

  • UPMC―Patient Handoff Strategies
  • Sinai Health System―Efficiencies that Impact Readmission
  • University of Utah Health―Unifying a Network through Patient Transport

Finally, NAHTM has changed its Executive Leadership.  Michelle Jackson from Highland Hospital in Rochester NY is taking on the exciting and challenging role of President.  Other NAHTM members and I are looking forward to working with Michelle in her new role.


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About the Expert

Tom PerryThomas Perry

Solution Line Leader, Product Management

Thomas Perry has held various roles while at TeleTracking since joining in 2001. Tom has held responsibility for managing and launching TransportTracking™, BedTracking®, ServiceTracking™, TeleTracking’s RTLS Solutions; including AssetTracking, TempTracking and incorporation of RTLS capabilities into existing and new TeleTracking solutions. He currently is the Solution Line Leader in Product Management for the Capacity Management Suite and leads a number of innovation initiatives targeted with expanding capabilities to improve patient access and patient throughput.

With a Master’s degree in Corporate Communications, Tom's career has been focused on improving communications; process re-engineering and workflow design in various industries including advertising, logistics, manufacturing and healthcare.


The Time is Now

Hospital Command Centers: Centralizing Care Coordination

As care delivery becomes more complex, finding ways to coordinate patient care across the continuum is one of the most important challenges facing healthcare institutions today and the reason hospital command centers are central to a health system’s organizational strategy.

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