Healthcare, being one of the most critical services worldwide, requires efficient and reliable systems to meet the needs of patients and healthcare providers alike. One integral part of this system is workflow optimization. Workflow optimization refers to the systematic organization of resources and equipment to ensure maximum efficiency, better patient outcomes, and improve overall satisfaction. As technology continues to rapidly advance, more solutions are designed and created to improve healthcare workflows. Technology has become a staple in hospitals and plays an increasingly significant role in optimizing healthcare workflows. Keep reading to get a deeper look into the importance of efficient workflows, the role of technology in this process, the emergence and benefits of battery-powered workstations, and what to look for in the future of optimizing healthcare workflows.
The Importance of Efficient Workflows in Healthcare
Workflow optimization is a cornerstone of efficient healthcare delivery. The nature of healthcare makes it nearly impossible to do one task from start to finish without interruptions, so having an efficient process is essential to not missing crucial pieces of information. Throughout the day, healthcare staff have multiple touchpoints, including:
- talking to patients
- distributing medication
- navigating through a hospital
In order to be able to achieve all the items needed in a day and complete the complex processes, healthcare workers need efficient and streamlined workflows. The more optimized the workflow is, the less stressed clinicians feel, and patients experience improved satisfaction and reduced wait times.
Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore is an example of a perfectly optimized workflow. Their radiology department worked to implement a new process in order to improve efficiencies. Once this change was implemented, the team experienced a significant increase in the efficiency of MRI scans. The radiology team was able to further see the benefits of their optimized workflow with reduced patient wait times, improved utilization of MRI machines, and increased patient satisfaction.
Key Elements of Optimized Healthcare Workflows
No efficient workflow can exist without certain key elements, including effective communication, automation, data accessibility, and a patient-centric approach. These elements allow for staff to not only have efficient workflows individually but experience them throughout the entire organization.
Communication among healthcare professionals enables a unified approach to patient care, it allows clinicians to offer treatment options quickly, without having to cause any added stress to the patient. Automation handles routine tasks, reducing the risk of errors and freeing up time for medical personnel to focus on patient care. Accessible data ensures all information is included in a patient’s EHR (electronic health record) to ensure prompt decisions. Perhaps the most important element, the patient-centric approach, keeps the patient’s needs as the top priority for all healthcare staff.
The Role of Technology in Optimizing Healthcare Workflows
Technology has become a crucial tool for healthcare providers, offering various ways to streamline operations and improve efficiency. Electronic Health Records (EHRs) have replaced paper records, making patient information accessible and easy to update. In addition to EHRs, technology has continued to expand into the equipment nurses and clinicians use. This includes telemedicine, AI, and IoT. These new technologies have enabled healthcare workers to improve their diagnosis, prognosis, treatment planning, and even locating their equipment.
Among the many technological advancements in healthcare, battery-powered carts have found their place as a prominent, powerful tool. These mobile units offer healthcare providers the ability to move around a healthcare facility while maintaining access to critical data and systems. In recent years, battery-powered carts have vastly expanded their offerings. What was once a mobile cart with power, is now a complete technology solution to optimize any workflow.
Battery-powered workstations offer benefits in terms of mobility, accessibility, and round-the-clock service, making them invaluable in busy healthcare environments. A nurse is able to quickly locate an open cart with the technologies installed, and bring it with them wherever they go. This allows them to have instant access to EHRs and acts as a way to hold all of their equipment within arm’s reach.
The usefulness of battery-powered carts also contributes to improved data accuracy and a reduction in the chances of cross-contamination. With physicians spending 49% of their work hours interfering with the EHR, reducing the risk of mistakes in data accuracy is imperative. Clinicians are able to bring everything with them at once, so there is less chance of forgetting important information or forgetting to sanitize equipment before helping the next patient, causing cross contaimination. These EMR (electronic medical record) carts will only continue to grow in usefulness in the coming years.
Choosing the Right Battery-Powered Workstations for Your Healthcare Facility
Choosing the right battery-powered workstation requires careful consideration of the most important factors for the staff that will be using the equipment on a daily basis. This includes checking it is compatible with the chosen technology, fits individual workflows, has software that has the capacity to improve efficiencies, and has ample support and service options.
Ensuring the chosen battery-powered cart has all the needed features allows clinicians to experience the most advanced workflow solution possible, and they’re able to have the confidence they’re using the correct workstation on a daily basis.
The Future of Workflow Optimization in Healthcare
Looking ahead, workflow optimization in healthcare will continue to evolve with technology. Battery-powered workstations are becoming more and more sophisticated, integrating more advanced technologies like AI and machine learning for faster data analysis and improved patient care. As these new advancements are added to powered carts, healthcare staff will be able to shift more of their focus to their patients. Streamlining and optimizing workflows enhances the patient experience by enabling the human element of appointments to take the forefront once more.
To sum up, optimizing healthcare workflows is an essential aspect of efficient healthcare delivery. Technology, particularly battery-powered workstations, plays a vital role in achieving this. As we move forward, healthcare facilities should be open to embracing technological advancements to ensure they continue to provide the best possible care for their patients. Contact Altus to learn more about our battery-powered workstation options and how they can support your hospital in optimizing workflows.
The future of healthcare workflows is bright, promising significant improvements in patient care and satisfaction.