The following is a guest post by Ainsley Lawrence, a freelance writer from the Pacific Northwest. She is interested in topics related to better living through education and technology. She is frequently lost in a good book.
The trope of a “crowded hospital” is something no patient or healthcare professional wants to experience. If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, it’s that space management in hospitals is far from a “luxury” – it’s a necessity.
Optimal space management in hospitals allows healthcare workers to access and employ critical resources while leaving patients feeling comfortable during their visits.
Physical space management can help your staff prioritize certain processes, and streamline their workflow while allowing for more flexibility. However, technological space management is just as important when it comes to experiencing the same benefits.
So, how can space management improve patient care and staff workflow? How can it contribute to a more positive experience for everyone who enters the facility? Let’s take a closer look at some technological advancements that can help with space management, and why they should be implemented in your hospital.
The last thing a patient wants to experience when your hospital is busy is feeling unseen, unheard, and unvalued. Having a quality patient management system in place will help to ensure that doesn’t happen. Some of the benefits of implementing patient management software include:
- Easing your overburdened staff
- Streamlining billing, charting, and scheduling
- Offering timely patient care
- Keeping things organized
There are countless software systems to choose from nowadays, so it’s important to decide on a system that fits the needs of your facility. If you want to reach your patients when they leave the hospital, consider going “remote” and investing in programs that offer digital case support. Mobile health technology is becoming more prominent than ever. So much so, that 52% of smartphone users get health-related information on their phones. If a patient has a procedure, tests, or needs a follow-up, you can connect with them digitally and help to prevent overcrowding within the hospital’s physical space.
In addition to patient management software, implementing space management software can also help to streamline daily operations. Consider investing in a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) to take care of things like:
- Spare parts
Cleaning up the underutilized spaces in your facility and using them more efficiently will not only keep everyone on the same page, but it will make life easier for your staff. It’s especially important to have software like this in place if you have doctors and nurses working in different areas who need to communicate. Both verbal and written communication is essential for healthcare workers, and utilizing technology can make it easier for conversations to take place whether they’re trying to connect in different areas of the hospital, or a traveling nurse or doctor is trying to obtain or provide information.
When you implement space management software, you’ll eliminate a lot of confusion for your staff, since they’ll be able to look up everything they need with a few clicks or taps. However, you’ll also stop wasting a lot of space thanks to proper inventory management and better scheduling that uses time more efficiently.
Technology advances at a rapid rate. While implementing space management software and visitor management systems can help today, it’s essential to keep things as updated as possible to see what’s working and where you can improve.
That requires data collection and recognizing current trends in healthcare technology. For example, women’s preventative wellness exams have increased over the last few years, while things like maternal care have moved to more virtual and digital environments. Keeping track of these trends and analyzing patient data will make it easier to determine where you need to provide more space and how you can utilize your resources more efficiently.
It’s also worth it to consider how you can utilize IoT in your efforts.
Offering patients wearable devices like monitors for glucose, heart rate, or even diseases like Parkinson’s can help them to feel supported and allow your doctors to track their needs virtually without requiring them to make multiple appointments. It’s more efficient, more effective, and more comfortable for everyone. It’s incredibly useful for patients who might have a hard time coming in for appointments or can’t easily track their conditions on their own.
Additionally, you can use smart technology and IoT to track and analyze the deployment of your staff at any location in real-time. This kind of information from patients and staff alike is crucial to maintaining transparency and keeping people safe without causing overcrowding. Nowadays, patients want a more personalized experience when they come to a hospital. If things are overcrowded or your staff is burnt out due to disorganization, it’s going to hinder that experience and cause more chaos and stress for everyone. Focus on creating an experience that caters to each patient’s individual needs, and consider how technology can help. From streamlined scheduling to remote monitoring, digital and physical space management can improve the patient experience and staff productivity all at once.