Workflow and process improvements have always been an important consideration for healthcare organizations (HCOs). But in today’s dynamic healthcare environment, factors such as rapidly changing healthcare technologies and changing illness situations mean that workflow efficiency is not just a consideration, but a priority.
An often overlooked aspect of workflow efficiency is the equipment used by caregivers in the Point of Care. Equipment designed to support workflows can advance HCO priorities such as interoperability, organizational agility, and wise use of budget.
Interoperability with the “Triangle of Care”
“Efficient workflows are important within the“ care triangle ”that includes patients, caregivers and technology,” said Dick Mast, Ergotron’s North American Healthcare Sales Director.
“Ideally, we need technology designed to be readily accessible in the medical setting and uninterrupted in workflow,” he said.
Workstations, whether mobile or wall-mounted, can facilitate or interfere with documentation and patient interaction. Workstations that are difficult to adjust, that do not fit the clinician comfortably, or that require the caregiver to turn their back to the patient at the time of use can discourage use at the Point of Care.
As a result, caregivers may hesitate to create charts while with the patient. But that means they have to finish charting at the end of the shift. It already extends long working days and can lead to errors. Fragmented data entry can lead to incomplete patient records. Incorrect data entry can lead to inaccurate patient records. These types of errors hinder the integrity and accuracy of the data that interoperability initiatives depend on for their effectiveness.
Organizational agility in the COVID-19 era
Hospital equipment should not only be easy to use, but also adaptable to support workflow efficiency. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the ability to quickly pivot between different care environments became even more important.
In the early days of the pandemic, HCO began to scale up its COVID-19 inspection capabilities with non-traditional settings such as parking lots, parking garages, sports stadiums, and outside community centers. In this context, the adaptability of medical devices has taken on new meaning.
“What COVID-19 has done is to really emphasize how important it is to have a device that can be quickly adapted for use in a variety of applications,” said Charles Alessi, Chief Clinical Officer of HIMSS. The doctor says.
The range of adaptability now covers more than open architecture and modularity to support different use cases within the hospital wall. The workflow request for the COVID-19 response needed more diversity.
Angela Paulson, Senior Product Manager at Ergotron, said:
Protect your budget for the future
HCOs rarely reliably predict what workflow requirements will look like in the next few years. The COVID-19 pandemic is a good example. Therefore, it is important to consider whether the equipment is designed with the future in mind. The equipment should be universally adaptable and modular, allowing components to be switched for different workflows without having to replace the original equipment.
“If you can only change your medical cart every five years, you need to think about what will happen in the fourth year,” says Poulson. “Does the cart continue to work? Can it hold everything you need? Can you buy additional accessories to ensure that the cart does what you need?”
In addition to universality and modularity, another indicator that the device was designed with the future in mind is whether the design considers ergonomics. Clinicians today want a “smaller, lighter, and more agile” cart, Mast said.
In addition, the cart, designed for the future, takes into account modern aesthetics. Hospitals tend to combine residential and commercial attributes into a recimeric design that makes healthcare spaces less industrial and more subdued. Equipment designed to match resimercial aesthetics can show that it is designed with the future in mind.
Identifying advanced equipment partners
The right equipment manufacturer works with HCO to identify the most suitable equipment to meet your organization’s unique workflow requirements. By translating specific needs into the right products, organizations can get the most out of their budget.
The key features of our equipment partners are:
- reputation: Does the manufacturer have an established presence in the particular equipment market that HCO is considering?
- Advanced product design: Does the design support adaptability, versatility, ergonomics, contemporary aesthetics and future potential?
- Product quality: Does the device comply with industry standards? Related standards and certifications may include UL certifications, CE certifications, and ISO standards.
- Cycle test: Does the manufacturer perform cycle tests to verify the expected useful life of the product?
- Service and support: What warranty does the manufacturer provide for the equipment? Does the manufacturer offer step-by-step service and support contracts?
It is important to pay attention to the details of hospital equipment — even basic equipment such as medical carts. Medical carts play an unrecognized role in workflow efficiency, ensuring that patients, clinicians, and technology are connected at a point of care.
In addition to facilitating interoperability, well-designed carts are unobtrusive, easy to use, and enable caregivers to provide efficient, patient-centric care.
Ergotron helps organizations optimize workflow efficiency. For more information, please visit: Healthcare.ergotron.com..
How Efficient Workflows Prepare Your Healthcare Organization for an Uncertain Future
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