Hospitals Leverage Patient Flow Software To Automate Infection Control

Top Quote Methodist Healthcare in San Antonio, Texas and the University of Virginia (UVA) Medical Center are using automated patient flow and bed management software from TeleTracking Technologies to communicate isolation information to all hospital staff. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) July 21, 2010 - Methodist Healthcare and UVA Communicate Isolation Status Hospital-Wide

    PITTSBURGH (July 20, 2010) - Methodist Healthcare in San Antonio, Texas and the University of Virginia (UVA) Medical Center are linking patient infection status to automated patient flow and bed management software from TeleTracking Technologies, clearly and instantaneously communicating isolation information to all hospital staff.

    Infection control processes often rely on written lists to identify and communicate isolation areas, lists that are not shared with all staff and may be outdated from the moment they are recorded. The resulting communications gap leaves staff vulnerable to inadvertent exposure, particularly nursing, environmental services and transport personnel as they travel most widely through a hospital facility. This exposure potentially endangers the entire hospital population. Each year, hospital acquired infections (HAIs) cost hospitals up to $45 billion and claim more than 100,000 lives, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

    "A patient may be well documented as an infection case within one unit, but if transportation personnel are not aware, they may move that patient to another floor along with the contaminated wheelchair and the infection," said Susan Sewell, RN, Methodist's Vice President of Patient Management. "We now require infection status to be entered into our bed management software before assigning a patient a bed, as all staff can access the system."

    Methodist requires infection status to be recorded in the "Isolation and Type" fields of TeleTracking's Capacity Management software before a patient will be assigned a bed. Previously, patients were regularly tested for infection upon admission but were often assigned a room before test results were returned. At UVA, infection control nurses must indicate isolation status from 50 different indicators that have been created within their bed management system. This information is then clearly marked on TeleTracking electronic bed boards to inform all staff about isolation areas.

    "We are integrating infection control nurses into the patient flow loop," said Maggie Short, administrator of UVA's bed center. "By empowering our infection control staff to monitor infection status and bed placement through our patient flow software, we are sharing that information in real-time with all staff and ensuring patients are placed in the proper rooms."

    TeleTracking's Capacity Management Suite includes an alert safeguard based on the feature Patient Placement Indicators (PPIs). PPIs are used to identify any special needs a patient may have, including infection and isolation requirements. This information is instantaneously communicated to all staff levels, eliminating several steps and potentially hazardous gaps in the traditional infection communications process. PPIs can also match patients with a specific infection and group their room assignments by cohort.

    "Patient flow automation provides real-time knowledge of bed status and reduces the likelihood that the wrong patient or potentially contaminated staff member goes into the wrong room, at the wrong time," said Anthony Sanzo, president and CEO of TeleTracking Technologies. "Our software also creates a trail of where infected patients have been in a hospital, and in the future we will be leveraging our RadarFind sensor network to create a trail of equipment that has come in contact with an infected patient."

    For more information, download an associated whitepaper from TeleTracking or register for an upcoming webinar that TeleTracking will be hosting with Modern Healthcare on July 22, 2010, "Using Automated Systems to Reduce Infection & Contamination Risk in your Hospital."

    About TeleTracking Technologies
    TeleTracking Technologies is the world-leading producer of automated patient flow solutions and services which help hospitals relieve overcrowding and improve throughput. With an average annual revenue growth of nearly 25 percent since 2003, TeleTracking now has over 225 employees and more than 800 clients, including many of the best-known hospitals and health systems in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. TeleTracking launched the automated patient flow industry in 1991 with BedTracking®, the first automated bed turnover solution, and later produced the electronic bedboard®, the industry-standard which revolutionized patient and bed tracking. It provides process planning and redesign through its consulting division, Avanti Patient Flow Services and real-time locationing through RadarFind, a wholly-owned subsidiary.

    Media Contact
    Amanda Manna
    (919) 459-6456
    amanda ( @ ) largemouthpr dot com

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