Chris Dube, Chief Operating Officer
For over a decade now, I have been a part of patient equipment distribution in hundreds of hospitals across the country as a process consultant, IT expert, and direct manager. During my travels, I have seen 5 common problems in the process.
- Nurses never have enough equipment, especially infusion pumps.
- There are never enough Equipment Specialists to retrieve and deliver equipment.
- Both Nurses and Equipment Specialists feel there is not enough equipment/infusion pumps.
- There are typically more than enough pumps (brains and channels) for every patient.
- There is typically a lack of trust among support groups and nursing around equipment management.
So what are the causes of these problems?
There is little to be gained by the chicken or the egg type of debate. Regardless of the order, high equipment delivery turnaround times, equipment hoarding, and a lack of transparency are all causes of poor patient equipment practices.
Why should we care?
- Extended equipment delivery wait times can cause delays in patient care and pose potential safety risks.
- Over-purchasing of equipment can result in large capital expenditures, high maintenance costs, and storage issues.
- Nurses’ perception of poor support can cause costly turnover.
What can be done to improve patient equipment processes?
Adopt an automated tool that can
- Make requesting equipment easy.
- Automatically assign equipment requests to Equipment Specialists by priority, location, and skill.
- Track delivery progress in real-time, sending escalating notifications when delays occur.
- Close the loop when work is done.
- Provide reports, analytics, and dashboards helping to identify improvement opportunities and employee accountability gaps.
- Integrate with your RTLS and RFID systems to automate the par replenishment process.