Learn how TAGNOS brought ancillary teams into the workflow, automating critical communications to improve operating room turnaround times
In this case study, you'll learn how a Adventist Health White Memorial significantly reduced room turnaround times by bringing ancillary teams into the communication loop as a result of implementing the TAGNOS patient flow solution.
The Client Spotlight at-a-glance:
Outdated communication methods and information gaps stall room turnaround times.
Real-time data and automated communications with TAGNOS OR Patient Flow Solution and Zebra-TC Series Touch Computers.
* EVS time to room decreased by 41% + .
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Client Spotlight Table of Contents
Adventist Health White Memorial (AHWM) is the region’s leading faithbased, nonprofit teaching hospital. Nestled in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, the hospital performed over 5,900 surgeries in 2018 in their 6 main operating rooms.
The mean cost of operating room (OR) time is estimated at $41/minute in 2018 and every minute wasted at AHWM creates potential for operational and fiscal waste. To manage the turnaround steps that occur when a patient surgery completes and is wheeled out to the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU), departmental leaders relied heavily on manual data collection and communication between their clinical and ancillary teams.
Hospital leaders identified a particular challenge with the Environmental Services (EVS) function, estimating it would take up to 15 minutes to relay information that a soiled OR suite was empty and ready for cleanup. AHWM recognized the EVS function as particularly critical to prompt turnaround times.
The tasks and functions of ancillary teams are often an afterthought in operating room efficiency, when in fact, they are essential for effective patient throughput and turnaround times. When all required staff, equipment and patients are not where they should be at the right moment, quality and costs suffer, and performance suffers.
Prior to implementing the TAGNOS OR Patient Flow Solution, staff at AHWM had no way to automatically capture and share critical movements, like patient wheels in (WI) and patient wheels out (WO).
They were reliant on timestamps that were manually input by clinical teams. Accuracy and timeliness of these manual inputs were not a focus, and ancillary teams had no visibility into patient statuses to prepare their workloads.
Oftentimes, it would take up to 15 minutes to simply alert EVS teams on WO, which created delays for subsequent case starts and snowballed into staff overtime.
To enable all team members to work in sync, staff was equipped with Zebra-TC Series Touch Computers to receive real-time access to TAGNOS data about each patient’s location and movements inside and outside the OR. TAGNOS automatically collects location and status of patients via an active RFID-enabled wristband assigned at check-in. In addition, the Zebra-TC Series Touch Computers host an active RFID-chip that allows for visibility of staff at critical check-points.
With TAGNOS deployed, staff automatically receives actionable, real—time data as each patient is wheeled in and wheeled out of the OR. Operating Room Nurses, Anesthesia Technicians and EVS shared communications across 6 operating rooms:
- As a patient enters a specific OR, an automated alert is triggered communicating actual surgery start time to all staff roles associated to that room.
- For the EVS team, patient entry alerts offer actual time-stamped surgery start times, so they can plan their workflows accordingly.
- Notification of patient’s WO (exit) from the room triggers an automated alert the patient is being moved out and the room is ready for clean-up.
- The TAGNOS system automatically captures both the in and out time of EVS via the touch computer. This provides leadership insight into EVS movements and captures the actual time it takes to clean a room (unavailable prior to TAGNOS).
Enabling clinical logistics automation workflows triggered by real-time location system (RTLS) alerts from TAGNOS and mobile communication with Zebra-TC Series Touch Computers creates a highly-synergistic surgical suite that delivers actionable information and open lines of communication centered around optimal efficiency.
This cost reduction breaks down to almost $82,000 per month, or $162,000 for each OR suite annually assuming at least a 3-minute reduction. Streamlining the efforts of EVS and their ‘speed to room’ allows the team to end the day on-time and prevents additional use of labor and facility resources, such as overtime charges.
The solution yielded some intangible benefits, as well:
- Role-based communication at an OR suite level ensured all relevant staff members are communicating within one, accurate message loop.
- Receiving the same information improved communication and gave teams a stronger perspective on how
interrelated their tasks are.
- Staff members feel they are in a better position to schedule their time around surgical activity. It has fostered
a high-level of teamwork since the ambiguity and burden of communicating simple, yet vital information is
completed automatically for them.
In summary, the solution automatically placed vital patient flow information into the hands of clinical and ancillary team members that improved efficiencies, outcomes and the patient experience.
“Improving room turnaround times is on the top of every OR Manager’s mind. TAGNOS enabled us to open a valuable communication line between our clinical and ancillary teams, which allowed us to truly orchestrate the workflows surrounding patient throughput. With TAGNOS, we were able to reduce our overall room turnaround time by 9.7%.”
Randy Saad, Director of Perioperative Services Adventist Health White Memorial Medical Center