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Emergency department systems

Location technology used to boost ED patient flow

AJAX and PICKERING, Ont. – Rouge Valley Health System (RVHS) has selected a Real-Time Locating System (RTLS) from Versus Technology, Inc., of Traverse City, Mich., to improve efficiency and safety within the new Rouge Valley Ajax and Pickering emergency department (ED).

Though Versus has been providing location-based clinical workflow automation to hospitals and clinics for years, the solution at Ajax and Pickering will be the first of its kind to support Ministry of Health and Long-term Care performance goals, the partners said. This is especially important to RVHS as Ajax/Pickering undergoes an expansion and expects ED patient volume to surge to 60,000 annual visits.

In 2008, RVHS was one of 23 hospitals selected by the Ontario government to focus on reducing ED wait times. “Efficient patient flow is shown to have a positive impact on safety, satisfaction and revenue,” said Darren Micallef, Consultant, HC4Site. “The provincial target wait times are very achievable at eight hours for complex conditions and four hours for minor conditions, but hospitals struggle with identifying roadblocks.

“Bringing in an expert at patient flow like Versus,” said Micallef, “is key to ensuring that the provincial targets are not only achieved, but achieved in a manner that is timely, efficient and intuitive.”

The Versus RTLS solution will be deployed in phases. The first phase will include a dashboard, with key performance indicators (KPIs) like ‘overall length of stay’ and ‘bed assignment to room’ times displayed in real-time. A centrally located electronic whiteboard (also available at individual workstations) will convey patient location and relevant patient information, like assigned caregivers.

In a notable change from ‘normal’ operations, physicians and nurses will be assigned to patients automatically, based on their interactions with patients. This saves valuable time and enhances communication, while eliminating the burden of documentation for staff. RVHS is the first hospital in Ontario to deploy an automated patient-tracking system to help track patient milestones and improve patient flow.

Another key communication feature is Versus Staff Assist, which gives staff the ability to signal for assistance by pressing a button on their locator badge. Particularly important to staff in the Mental Health Services areas of Ajax/Pickering, fellow staff members will be alerted to the call for assistance and the caregiver’s location, allowing an immediate, directed response.

In its second phase, the Versus solution will integrate to and automate Rouge Valley Ajax and Pickering’s chosen Emergency Department Information System (EDIS). Versus was selected for its willingness to integrate with any EDIS. Several other system providers were not open to or experienced in EDIS integration. Versus, however, is an experienced integrator and will allow RVHS to reap immediate benefits of real-time patient flow.

“Rouge Valley needed an affordable, easy to use, easy to expand and solvent solution to help achieve that balance between government regulation and operating within their means,” said Paul Timmerman, Versus’ VP of Sales and Marketing. “Versus provides that balance, and does so in a way that ensures safety and satisfaction for patients and staff.”

About Rouge Valley Health System
RVHS is an acute care community hospital with many programs, including 24/7/365 emergency, cardiac care and mental health. Rouge Valley consists of several health sites, including two community hospital campuses: Rouge Valley Centenary in east Toronto; and Rouge Valley Ajax and Pickering in west Durham. Together, a team of physicians (224 general practitioners and 325 specialists), 1,000 nurses and many other professionals care for a broad spectrum of health conditions. Working in consultation and partnership with community members, other hospitals, healthcare organizations, the Central East Local Health Integration Network and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Rouge Valley continues to improve its programs and cater to the needs of the growing communities of east Toronto, Ajax, Pickering and Whitby.

About HC4Site
Healthcare 4Site is the Canadian sales agent for Versus Technology, Inc. With many years experience servicing the healthcare sector, Healthcare 4Site’s mission is to improve patient care, service and operations by incorporating today and tomorrow’s technology.

About Versus Technology, Inc.
Versus Technology, Inc. is a leader in the development and sale of context-aware real-time location systems (RTLS) used for enterprise patient tracking, bed management and asset tracking to improve patient flow and caregiver/patient communications in hospitals, clinics and long-term care facilities. Versus also develops dual infrared and Active RFID tags and other location tracking hardware to make locating systems more precise, security systems more intelligent, nurse call systems automatic, and hospital asset tracking systems more efficient. Indoor positioning through Versus’ RTLS enhances existing hospital software and patient care systems with real-time, reliable bed-level location information. The patented Versus IR and Active RFID patient and asset tracking system is exclusively endorsed by the American Hospital Association and is a key component of their Patient Flow Platform – which includes a select group of vendors that provide proven solutions to enhance patient flow and improve patient safety. (www.versustech.com)

Posted February 25, 2010

 

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