Is High Census a Problem at Your Facility?
Here are some tips on how you can help solve this issue:
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
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.