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Emergency room systems

Humber selects Versus for improved patient flow

TORONTO – Humber River Regional Hospital (HRRH) has selected Versus Advantages, a Real-time Locating System (RTLS) from Versus Technology, Inc. of Traverse City, Mich., for emergency department patient flow management at two sites. Between the two locations, HRRH operates approximately 550 in-patient beds.

The search for an effective patient flow management system was spurred by Ministry of Health and Long-term Care Performance Goals set forth in 2008. These goals challenge hospitals to improve their emergency room patient flow management processes.

In turn, the Ministry of Health provides funds to support hospital improvements that help patients obtain more timely care. HRRH’s specific focus, like that of 70 other hospitals, is on reducing emergency room wait times, which currently average between 15.8 and 17.0 hours for complex conditions and 3.9 hours for minor or uncomplicated conditions.

The Real-time Locating System (RTLS) from Versus will provide real-time patient locating at each facility and track key metrics such as Total Length of Stay based on patient acuity to facilitate easy reporting of patient wait times to the Ministry of Health.

The automatic collection of patient location data will relieve staff of the “busy work” associated with keeping up with each patient’s individual progress, such as when the patient goes to diagnostic imaging and when the patient returns. With this situational awareness, the patient’s status as relayed to caregivers is timelier and “next stage” events can be triggered automatically based on patient status.

“At present we have to rely on data which, because of the lag in reporting time, may not represent the current situation,” said Dr. R. Kumar, Chief of Emergency Services at HRRH. “With Versus’ real-time technology, we can review and analyze data immediately, and be able to correct bottlenecks in real time, helping us provide even better care to our patients and families.”

In addition to capturing data points and interactions as they happen, the Versus system will also feature a two-way integration to HRRH’s Meditech system, where Versus will receive patient registration data and update HRRH’s Meditech whiteboards in real-time.

This offers several important benefits. The first is simply that staff will not have to perform these data entry tasks that are automated by Versus. There’s less potential for data entry errors and duplicate data.

The deducible efficiency gains also mean that the stages of care are auto-time stamped (important for metrics reporting) while all necessary patient information is instantaneously available to a wider audience of caregivers and administrators. This will allow HRRH to make changes to processes that delay the receipt of timely care for patients.

With the changes set forth by the Ontario government, including public reporting of metrics, it will be important for area hospitals to pay attention to outcomes as a result of technologies and processes implemented to address emergency room wait times. “Humber River is the second hospital in Ontario in the last six months to announce the use of the Versus Advantages to improve patient flow. Efficient patient flow is evidenced to have a positive impact on safety, satisfaction and revenue,” said Darren Micallef, Consultant, HC4Site. “We need to look beyond the labour force to reduce wait times. Bringing in an expert at patient flow, like Versus, is key to ensuring that the provincial targets are not only achieved, but achieved in a manner that is timely, efficient, intuitive for staff and that complements Humber’s unique processes.”

About Humber River Regional Hospital
Humber River Regional Hospital is one of Canada’s largest regional acute care hospitals, serving a catchment area of more than 850,000 people. Affiliated with the University of Toronto, the hospital is home to Ontario’s first Centre of Excellence for laparoscopic bariatric surgery; Canada’s first home nocturnal dialysis program and a major cancer program. Humber River’s redevelopment plan, approved by the provincial government, will see it commence construction of Ontario’s first digital hospital in 2011, one that Humber River plans to make a technological and environmental showcase. HOK, one of the world’s leading healthcare design teams, has been retained to provide the design compliance services for the new hospital project. Learn more about Humber River at

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.
For nearly 20 years, Versus Technology, Inc. has maintained the leadership position 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. (

Posted May 20, 2010