THE MIP BLOG - Sound Advice

18 Nov

Is High Census a Problem at Your Facility?

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Is High Census a Problem at Your Facility?

Here are some tips on how you can help solve this issue:

3 WAYS TO SPEED UP YOUR ROOM-CHANGE OVER
WITHOUT COMPROMISING PATIENT SAFETY
 

While many articles offer reasons for long wait times in ER waiting rooms, it is often a multi-prong approach that will help our hospitals improve patient flow through the care process. A study led by CAEP, CFPC and RCPSC states Canada’s healthcare systems are short close to 500 ER physicians, with a projection that this number will rise to 1071 by 2020 (caep.ca). Other sources speak to the need for improved technology to increase the efficiency of chart updates and effectiveness of shift scheduling. These reasons are alarmingly “obvious” to some, and are easy to point fingers at. So it makes you think, what else can be done to speed up patient flow? Many little improvements lead to big change:

Let’s look at 3 different ways you can speed up room changeover while meeting best practice.

 

1 - MAP OUT THE LOGISTICS

Ensuring the environmental hygiene services department is well located is essential for response time and operation. For high infection areas, having PPE carts or caddies properly located will help follow dawning and doffing best practices and save time. Further, knowing whose job is whose will be key for the efficiency and effectiveness of the changeover. In some places, nursing may be responsible for cleaning some parts of the room (such as bed make up) whereas other parts of the room may be left up to the housekeeping team to clean (such as surfaces). Whereas many hospitals have quality changeover plans mapped out, confirming all teams on board know exactly what their roles and responsibilities are will make the tasks get done quickly without a single box being left unchecked (source: American Journal for Infection Control).

 

2 - REMAIN INNOVATIVE

With creativity seeming limitless these days, companies are coming up with a solution for everything. Tech companies like PetalMD are coming out with dashboards for shift scheduling, optimized communication and claim to improve overall efficiency. Other companies like On the Right Track are taking a traditional hospital item like shower and privacy curtains and are elevating the game to offer quick switch systems to help environmental service teams stay off ladders and reduce labour times by upwards of 90%. With infection control best practice documents like PIDAC (Public Health Ontario) recommending that privacy curtains should be changed after all discharges, the traditional privacy curtain systems make this task daunting and adds a bottleneck to the room changeover time. Staying abreast of what technologies and systems are available to your site may lead to some light bulb moments, big time savings and happy employees.
 

PIDAC BEST PRACTICES

 

3 - TAKE THE TIME REQUIRED: HASTE MAKES WASTE

While all eyes are on the respective team to get the room cleaned and changed, there is a limit to how much time we can expect to cut out of the process. Whereas many sites may want to shorten times the on-site teams are required to spend in a room when a patient is discharged, attention to detail and a few extra minutes could save patient days and many healthcare dollars farther down the line. In his book “Cleaning Up” author Daniyal Zuberi states, “Pathogens in the hospital are invisible, but deadly. It is easy to ignore problems until an outbreak. Yet hospital-acquired infections are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality [...] Hospital cleaning and environmental sanitation is a core function of the hospital as it is a critically important part for improving patient safety and providing high quality of care.” Giving the cleaning process the respect and time it deserves will make all the difference.

 

VIDEO
SEE HOW AN INNOVATIVE DESIGN FOR CUBICLE CURTAINS CAN SPEED UP ROOM CHANGEOVER AND HELP PREVENT STAFF INJURY AND THE SPREAD OF INFECTION:

 

The Amazing Race - On The Right Track Curtains Edition

 

 

Megan Clarke
OTRT Project Manager
Categories: Long-Term Care, Patient/Resident Care, Environmental Services, Education, infection control

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