Implementing Nurse Communications & Workflow Technologies at Dayton Children’s Hospital

Summary

Dayton Children’s Hospital (DCH) is a pediatric hospital in Dayton, Ohio that is locally specialized and nationally recognized. The hospital was in the process of selecting and implementing nurse/patient communication and workflow technologies for a new Patient Tower. Dayton Children’s end-goal was to create the safest environment while using technology and solutions that would integrate seamlessly.

Challenge

To select nurse/patient communication technologies that seamlessly integrate into a new Patient Tower while ensuring staff confidence in utilizing new technologies in a new space.

Solution

Twelve new technologies integrated that provide open-architecture framework for the future of technology and allows utilizing systems in their fullest capabilities, providing high-regard for patient safety.

 

Process

DCH’s year-long decision process started with selecting nurse-call technology. The inquiry process included multiple site-visits with other hospitals. New Era Technology, DCH’s integrator of choice, facilitated site-visits in which newer technology had been incorporated. Impressed by Hill-Rom’s capabilities, DCH looked to New Era to be a sounding board for the decision-making process. Concerned over cost, New Era assured DCH that to be more economical and allow open-framework for the future of technology, Hill-Rom would be the best partner of choice for nurse-call communications. It was quickly determined it would not just be a nurse call system, but a patient and staff communication system.

“New Era was a close-confidant partner. They knew what our long-term goal was and were able to make the right decisions up front…”

The implementation of Hill-Rom provided many benefits that aided to efficiency and safety. Benefits included status boards directly linking with the nurse-call systems and the system’s ability for smart bed connectivity. This connectivity showcases all features of the bed on a screen and allows for device integration into medical records, permitting all information from the status board to be directly documented into the patient’s records, saving time for DCH’s staff.

Another feature New Era and DCH defined as critical, was Hill-Rom’s Care Sign electronic patient information digital display. Shared by DCH’s staff as the most popular feature, the Care Sign, which is installed outside of the patient’s room, allows a quick and visual way to determine if the various conditions that apply to the patient’s conditions (such as isolation, fall risks, and other precautions or reminders) to be displayed in real-time. It serves as a core tool helping to create a safer environment for the patient and eliminates the need for posted precautions, notes and flags. Effective workflow and relevant patient information was a top priority of the staff delivering care.

As interest peaked to add various workflow technologies to the new Patient Care Tower, New Era stood alongside DCH to help in the decision-making process. While keeping DCH’s long-term goal in mind, New Era partnered with Vocera, a hands-free communication device for staff. Keeping full integration in mind, New Era was familiar with Vocera’s capabilities and it’s abilities to align with DCH’s vision. The capabilities the hospital took advantage of included: signal lights for falls, staff-locator badge integration for duress calls, and other life-saving integrations with nurse call systems, allowing an overhead message to be sent in critical emergencies.

During the building and installing phase of the technology additions, New Era placed priority on being fully accessible to DCH to ensure the technology was integrated the way it had been envisioned and to also make tweaks which provided confidence in staff who would be utilizing the systems.

Cathy Gill, Clinical Equipment Manager (retired) shared, “New Era was so valuable to us. They not only learned where our deficiencies were, but they were also able to identify problems before we even experienced them.”

Outcome

New Era worked side-by-side with DCH’s Clinical Technology Integrator staff once the technology was installed. Overall, the hospital implemented 12 new pieces of technology for their new Patient Tower.

DCH’s Clinical Technology Integrator said, “We are using our systems to the fullest capabilities. The way the technology has been integrated is incredible—it’s like it’s living and breathing for us. This wouldn’t be possible without New Era’s help, as they spent hours making sure our team felt comfortable with the technology.”

DCH’s end-goal was to implement the best of the technology’s capabilities, to better understand how the technologies can be integrated together, and to ensure staff had enough hands-on experience to feel comfortable with the technology. During the programming and testing phase, New Era was on-site, confirming each room and every piece of equipment worked the way it was intended to, ensuring zero patient harm during DCH’s move into the new space.

To support DCH’s goal of providing hands-on experience for employees utilizing the new technology, New Era helped to invest 16-hours of training for every nurse and employee delivering care, providing confidence in staff for years to come.