A white paper by Huron Healthcare suggests how taking a closer look at workflows can help hospitals waste less time. It zeroes on tasks involved in indirect patient care, such as preparing medications, documenting care and collecting supplies.
Huron looks at wasted staff travel between departments to pick up things up, take phone calls and search for supplies and equipment. The consultancy says that the latter two chores account for 60 percent of nurses’ errand time.
Huron’s time-saving techniques, as summarized by FierceHealthcare, include:
“Training nurses and nurse assistants to perform post-surgical breathing tests. The tests added minimal time to the nurses’ schedules, since they were already checking on the patients, but free up respiratory therapists to focus on higher-priority procedures.
“Reducing errors in patient meals by simplifying menus and reducing the tray line speed by 1 second led to better accuracy, higher patient satisfaction scores and less wasted food.
“Automating a time-wasting manual records process.”
Huron concludes: “Initially focusing on areas which have low quality and satisfaction metrics, high overtime, high employee turnover and staffing above comparative and historical performance can provide the greatest benefit in the short-term.”