Earlier this year, Northwest Community Hospital (NCH) launched CareLink Bed Board, an electronic tracking tool that monitors patient activity in the Emergency Room (ER) and inpatient units. After just three months, Bed Board has improved patient flow by equipping staff with real-time updates of patient location, as well as patient and room status.
"We've seen very good improvements in patient throughput within a short time period," says Kathy Ferket, executive director of Patient Care Services. The Bed Board system streamlines interaction among staff by helping to reduce the number of telephone calls and faxes. In addition, it eliminates the need for the Hospital's afternoon bed huddle meeting.
With greater transparency and real-time monitoring of unit activity, patient transportation and environmental services duties are expedited, too. Patient satisfaction scores are anticipated to increase as a result of enhanced communication among physicians, clinicians and support staff. In fact, ED patient satisfaction scores are already on the rise.
Since the launch of Bed Board, ED patients admitted to the Hospital are spending less time waiting for a bed assignment. What previously took 30 minutes to arrange, is now being accomplished in about eight minutes. These improvements have contributed to an overall more efficient process for admitting ED patients to the Hospital.
For physicians, the Bed Board system can be especially helpful during patient rounds. Monitors located on the units display patient care alerts such as acuity, isolation and recently completed orders. Patient location indicators identify where the patient is (e.g., radiology, dialysis, GI lab) and how long the patient has been there.
When Bed Board Phase II occurred in late May, additional attributes regarding a patient's status were incorporated into the system. Now, certain CPOE orders, such as NPO and discharge orders, are instantly communicated through the system and appear within Bed Board.
For your convenience, each unit has a handy resource card that outlines the Bed Board patient and room indicators. For more information about Bed Board, please contact Jean Altizer, patient flow manager, at 847.618.7432; or Kathy Ferket, executive director of Patient Care Services, at 847.618.7943.