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Productivity

Queensway Carleton acquires patient-flow solution

OTTAWA – Queensway Carleton Hospital (QCH) has chosen Tele-Tracking Technologies’ suite of Capacity Management solutions to improve its patient flow process. Queensway Carleton Hospital is the first Canadian hospital to license a complete patient flow suite from Pittsburgh-based Tele-Tracking Technologies, including its automated electronic bed board.

The decision by the Queensway Carleton Hospital to computerize patient flow coincides with a multi-phase physical expansion that has already produced a new emergency department designed to handle the 63,000 patients seen annually. The new ED continues to be the busiest single site in Canada’s Capital city.

“We had a brief honeymoon when we opened up our new wing – within six months of our expansion, we were running over capacity again with significant ER backlogs,” said Michael Cohen, CPO & Director of Decision Support, Health Records & Patient Registration. “Realizing that simply adding beds would not fully solve our problems, we initiated a full process review. We believe Tele-Tracking’s solutions will allow us to maximize the impact of these changes, giving us more usable capacity with our system.”

Tele-Tracking’s Capacity Management Solutions include the Bed Management Suite with a 62” color-coded electronic bedboard, and Transport Tracking. This fully integrated solution gives supervisors real-time snapshots of the entire hospital’s census, current bed availability and what to expect in the short term. It also helps to automate the myriad steps involved in bed turnover, portering patients and placing them on the appropriate clinical unit.

“The ability to direct traffic, predict future demand and getting the right patient in the right bed at the right time will be key,” Mr. Cohen said. “By improving patient flow we expect benefits will be seen throughout the hospital – including the emergency room and for patients coming out of surgery.”

QCH serves over 400,000 people in western Ottawa and the Ottawa Valley, including many seniors and young families. In recent years frequent, severe congestion in the hospital’s Emergency Department and inpatient beds often had forced cancellation or postponement of day and elective surgeries.

A recent study by Canadian Health Ministry officials, physicians and hospital executives said an overarching cause of overcrowding is a lack of bed availability for seriously ill patients, and pressure on emergency rooms due to a rapidly aging population. The report coincided with a warning by 20 Ontario hospitals that shortages of emergency physicians may force them to temporarily close their emergency rooms.

The report, titled “Improving Access to Emergency Care: Addressing System Issues,” noted that people 75 or older have the highest and fastest growing rate of emergency room visits. Their problems are usually complex and often require hospitalization, dispelling the myth that ER overcrowding in Ontario is caused by patients with sniffles and other minor complaints. Research suggests the most seriously ill patients now spend up to 8.7 hours in hospital emergency departments while less serious cases are treated in four hours.

About Tele-Tracking Technologies
Pittsburgh-based Tele-Tracking Technologies is the leading producer of patient flow software solutions, including The Bed Management Suite (BedTracking and PreAdmitTracking with the electronic bedboard) and TransportTracking. Since launching the patient flow automation industry more than 15 years ago, it has implemented over 1,200 solutions at 650 acute care hospitals in the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit www.teletracking.com.

 

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