Patient care visibility systems can have a positive impact on hospital staff members’ work lives, organizational communication and quality of care, according to results from a recent survey of 140 nurses and other staff members at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Birmingham, Ala.More than three-quarters of the survey respondents said that they consider the system an important tool that helps them with daily work efforts. In addition, more than 80% stated that the visibility system specifically provides support when carrying out their job responsibilities. More specifically, the respondents said that the system is helping them reduce the number of times a day that they have to log-in to computers as well as place and receive patient and room status phone calls.
“We’re excited about the impact Awarix has had on nurses’ daily lives. As patient volumes for hospitals continues to increase, nursing represents the most stressful and challenging area in patient care, and we’re pleased that nurses have found significant value in our solution,” stated Scott McFarland, CEO of Awarix.
In addition to helping nurses and other staff members more effectively do their jobs, the patient care visibility system also is resulting in improved communication, with 86% of the respondents stating that the system improves overall communication and more than 70% citing improved communication between nurses and physicians. In addition, more than 70% of the respondents said that the system enables them to become more aware of and more quickly respond to physician orders and patient results, thereby providing enhanced service to patients.
“Nurses are at the center of coordinating information among patients, physicians, associates, and families. Increasing their satisfaction by using this enabling technology is a plus for a hospital. More importantly, nurses and other staff members feel that overall care is improved,” said Cindy Williams, R.N., Vice President of Patient Care Services at St. Vincent’s.
The Awarix patient care visibility system was installed at the 338-bed hospital in June of 2005. The groundbreaking technology uses a visualization platform and location technology (such as ultrasound and radio frequency identification) to provide real-time information on patient location, room status and clinical events. As a result, all hospital staff members can obtain vital patient information simply by glancing at electronic whiteboards, which are placed throughout the hospital. The system provides status information on more than 75 clinical and administrative processes.
For example, with the system in place, nurses can take a quick glance at the whiteboard and discover that the patient in room 558 has a new order; has a new result; is at fall risk; and is scheduled for discharge at 1:30 p.m. With such information, they can then immediately and intuitively prioritize their work, making sure that patients receive optimal care and service.
“We are always thrilled when a technology can deliver any type of results. With this system, though, we are experiencing results on so many different fronts–from job satisfaction to efficiency to quality of care–which is truly unique,” Williams said.