Management of Hospital Beds
Hospital bed tracking appears to be a basic and uncomplicated activity at first view. However, if you run a major medical facility or a chain of hospitals, you’re probably aware that bed tracking is more complicated than it appears. It might be difficult to keep track of available beds due to poor bed visibility, neglected bed care, and a lack of consolidated information. Here’s a look at some of the most pressing bed-related issues confronting today’s hospitals, as well as how a real-time hospital bed management system might help your facility succeed.
What are some of the major problems that hospitals face when it comes to bed management?
Understanding the challenges that today’s hospitals face is the first step toward better hospital bed management. Here are some of the major issues that have a detrimental influence on a hospital’s HCAHPS rating and revenue:
A bottleneck is a point in the patient care journey where the demand for services cannot be met efficiently. Services are now being delayed, and patient treatment must be postponed.” – University of Alabama at Birmingham Adjunct Professor Patrice Spath, RHIT
Patient flow bottlenecks are at the top of the list of hospital challenges because they have a direct influence on the patient experience and hospital profitability. They happen when the demand for beds or a certain healthcare service surpasses the facility’s capacity. Bottlenecks can have a detrimental influence on the whole patient care experience if they are not resolved.
2) Poor visibility in the bed
The inability to precisely estimate how many beds are available has a significant impact on hospital bed management. Hospitals that don’t have real-time insight into available beds are forced to infer how many beds are available in each department based on obsolete data. Patients may have to wait if the number is underestimated, since open beds stay unfilled.
Furthermore, underestimating the number of available beds might result in dissatisfaction when patients are taken to beds that are already full.
3) Beds with flaws
No piece of hospital equipment is impervious to malfunction. When a hospital bed breaks down, however, the costs are magnified since the patient room stays empty until the bed is fixed or replaced. Wearing components, operational mistakes, and gaps in preventative maintenance are all common causes of faults.
4) Surgery cancellations
“We never take cancelling surgeries lightly…We cannot operate on patients if we have nowhere to care for them, and we cancelled these cancer procedures mostly owing to a lack of a bed in intensive care.” – John Adler, Chief Executive, Leicester NHS Trust
Surgery cancellations owing to a shortage of functional beds adds stress and irritation to an already stressful situation for patients. Because to bed constraints and visibility concerns, several patients have had their procedures cancelled twice. Patients often take medicines and fast in preparation for surgery, only to find out at the last minute that there are no beds available.
5) Stolen and missing beds
Nearly $5 million in missing medical equipment was reported by Florida VA Hospitals in 2019. A wide range of products were reported lost or stolen, ranging from PCs to a $25,000 eye scanner. Hospitals cannot afford to lose beds to theft or misplacement, with new FDA-approved electric hospital beds costing over $10,000 and most properly reconditioned hospital beds costing over $2,000.
6) Cash flow problems
Poor patient flow, cancelled surgeries, and a lack of preventive maintenance all contribute to a hospital’s slow cash flow. Hospitals are unable to extend services or invest in new technologies when revenue targets are not met. As a result, a hospital’s competitive advantage is eroded.
What are the most important advantages of a real-time bed management system in a hospital?
For hospital administrators, addressing the aforementioned difficulties is no longer an option; it is a need. To speed up their searches for available beds and maintain track of the bed’s maintenance history, a rising number of hospitals are resorting to real-time bed management technologies such as Simon AI. Here are a few of the most significant benefits that a real-time bed management system can provide.
1) Improve patient flow.
Real-time access to bed information helps to reduce bottlenecks and delays. One of the top five techniques to enhance patient flow, according to Thom Mayer, M.D., Executive Vice President of Envision Physician Services, is “Use of Technology to Enhance Care.”
2) Identify the location of a bed quickly.
Clinical personnel are no longer compelled to rely on outdated information or error-prone manual notes thanks to bed visibility automation. They can rapidly determine whether a certain bed is in the ward, the hospital’s post-anesthesia care unit (PACU), or a patient room. Furthermore, because they no longer have to physically visit places inside a hospital to ensure bed availability, centralised bed authority may dedicate more time to speaking with units about the requirements of arriving patients.
3) Fewer surgeries cancelled
A large hospital can save millions of dollars by reducing the amount of cancelled surgeries by increasing bed tracking and visibility. For example, at The University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC), the number of delayed and cancelled surgeries was estimated to be 7,500 every year, resulting in a $5.9 million loss. Many of these costs are returned to the hospital budget through better bed management.
4) Efficient bed maintenance
A certified biomedical engineer or technician should undertake preventive maintenance at least once a year. Maintenance is frequently done offsite or at a designated place within a hospital. Simon AI keeps note of when beds are removed for routine repair. Additionally, the platform’s notification engine can alert staff if a bed has not been removed for servicing within the recommended time frame.
5) There are fewer beds that have gone missing or have been stolen.
Users can track down missing hospital beds with real-time bed management systems like Simon AI, which allows them to rapidly discover the last location of any tagged hospital bed mississauga. Users can also look at the bed’s entire location history to see who might have moved it. Finally, users may assist prevent theft by setting up notifications to notify personnel when a bed is moved out of the hospital or from a defined zone.
6) Increased healthcare staff productivity
Large hospitals generally employ teams of 50 or more bed managers who spend the most of their day making calls and sending faxes to various departments contending for their share of the available beds.” – Minoo Javanmardian and Aditya Lingampally, Harvard Business Review
The introduction of Simon AI significantly reduces the amount of time spent by staffing on locating available beds. Clinical personnel can spend more time caring for patients and less time looking for available beds as a result of this. As a result, there is increased efficiency and a decrease in staffing costs.
7) Provide a better patient experience
By far the most important benefit of a real-time bed management solution is improved patient experience. Patients are able to complete their treatment faster and with a higher level of satisfaction by optimising patient flow, reducing the number of cancelled surgeries, and minimising bed wait periods.
Learn how the Internet of Things is helping healthcare providers solve simple and difficult problems.
What is a BLE-based bed management solution and how does it work?
Users can get real-time information on the position of a bed using a BLE-based management solution. The solution is simple to use and requires very little equipment.
A Simon AI subscription, Kontakt.io Bluetooth LE devices, and Bluetooth LE Gateways are among the prerequisites. Third-party gadgets and WiFi network infrastructures that are compatible will also suffice.
Users just connect a Bluetooth tag to each bed in the hospital, and the system is up and running in no time. Simon AI is also device neutral and interoperable with a wide range of third-party applications. The procedure may be broken down into four basic steps:
The first step is to prepare. Prepare a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) identification tag for each hospital bed using a computer terminal.
Step two is to tag. Attach the BLE tag to each bed securely.
Placement is the third step. Put the bed in the appropriate department of your hospital.
Step 4: Look for it. To identify a bed and receive real-time data, put its identification number into the Simon search bar.
You can take your bed management to the next level once you’ve included Simon AI by getting and analysing data about your beds. For example, you can determine which areas are most likely to experience delays and change your staffing and procedures accordingly. You can also use location and pattern recognition to initiate automated activities. For example, if 365 days pass without a bed being removed from the ward for servicing, you can set up an email alert.
Simon AI’s excellent analytics is another essential feature. Users can simply review collected bed data and detect bed-related inefficiencies with Simon AI. As a result, production and efficiency increase.
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