Routine doctor visits can be stressful. To create a patient-friendly ambulatory care environment, many healthcare organizations are using real-time locating system (RTLS) technology. See how RTLS technology can improve workflow and positively impact their experience.
For patients, routine visits to the doctor can often be stressful, uncomfortable and filled with anxiety. Fortunately, today’s value-based care environment is driving much-deserved focus on the patient experience at the point of care.
There is overwhelming consensus that keeping the patient experience top-of-mind can create an ambulatory care environment conducive to achieving the quality of care and enhanced interactions that can lead to better outcomes.
To this end, many healthcare organizations are adopting a patient-centered approach that provides a framework for placing equal emphasis on the patient experience (e.g., inviting environments, pleasing aesthetics, safety and comfort) and increased efficiency (e.g., minimal wait times, high room utilization and enhanced workflow).
This approach keeps patient needs at the forefront while still considering and implementing efficiency gains. It also helps caregivers view the exam room, the equipment and the entire outpatient facility as a point of care ecosystem where everything has an impact on the overall patient experience and efficiency of the practice.
While the right equipment and exam room design decisions can help ensure a balanced approach that places equal focus on patient experience, the capture, communication and analysis of accurate workflow data also has a big impact.
Real-time locating system (RTLS) technology, which has been providing value in acute care for decades, has more recently helped healthcare organizations create patient-friendly ambulatory care facilities.
RTLS makes capturing accurate workflow data possible, communicating in-the-moment patient and staff locations, wait times and staff interactions, as well as a vast amount of retrospective detail. The information offers a more accurate understanding of the real-time status of workflows inside the facility.
Analytics reveal insights to the duration of key activities, utilization trends, and bottlenecks that allow for targeted approaches to close gaps and drive new levels of overall patient flow efficiency.
There are a number of ways the use of RTLS technology can improve workflow and positively impact the patient experience. Following are a few of the most important.
- Self-Rooming improves the patient experience by alerting staff when patients have arrived and are ready to be seen. It can shorten the time patients spend alone in the exam room, decreasing the stress of waiting and improving the quality of interactions.
- Improved Patient Flow through dynamic rooming/scheduling that uses visual cues to identify which rooms are available. The technology also shows the exact location of patients, as well as who has seen them and who has not yet been with them. These visual cues contribute to a more organized and productive visit for patients.
- Asset Tracking is perhaps the most common use of RTLS in acute care. Monitoring the real-time locations of mobile equipment, such as ECGs and vital signs devices, reduces the amount of time spent searching for equipment and helps ensure the right equipment is in the room during the patient visit.
- Contagion Exposure can be monitored and managed since the technology automatically documents interactions between patients and staff. Healthcare organizations can quickly see which patients may have been exposed to a contagious individual and for how long, supporting immediate containment efforts that will help minimize exposure for other staff and patients.
- Process Improvements for Enhancing the Patient Experience can be made and managed with data that help healthcare leaders identify inefficiencies and bottlenecks, and verify quality improvement efforts with quantifiable metrics and benchmarks.
In today’s value-based care environment where more emphasis is being placed on the point of care experience, RTLS technology can be a valuable tool in creating a better patient experience. For more information on the technology, download the Midmark eBook 12 Reasons Why RTLS Makes Sense for Healthcare.
Marketing Manager, Midmark RTLS