|Automated patient progression
|Versus interfaced to WestCall LED room lights
|Event monitoring and automated room status
|WestSound Orthopaedics, PS
WestSound Orthopaedics, PS is a musculoskeletal specialty clinic covering 19,000 square feet. With 24 patient rooms and 6 surgeons rotating between the office and off-site surgery, this facility manages 150 to 200 patients per day. You have to ask “How?”
A Modern Approach to Quality Care
In 2006, Drs. Bliss, Duff, Kain and Koskella joined together to create WestSound Orthopaedics, PS, a comprehensive musculoskeletal care clinic. When designing their new clinic, they sought to keep it very modern, with all the conveniences necessary to remain patient-centric.
According to Dr. Bliss, “Orthopaedic doctors often have 2 to 4 patients in the office at once, some in x-ray, some in casting, and others who are in consultation with the physician. It is essential that the physicians and staff be aware of who is where and what stage each person is in with regard to evaluation and treatment.”
Located in Silverdale, WA, this new clinic employs a variety of technologies to ensure seamless, high quality care. One such technology is Versus Technology, Inc.’s real-time location information system. “Since our office is fully electronic, the Versus system, with Floorplan View™ and interfaced to our WestCall LED room lights was a natural fit,” explains Dr. Bliss. “Our staff are already focused on their computers for charting, X-ray review and communication flags, so the Versus solution was an easy adaptation.”
Mindy Markley, WestSound’s Practice Administrator adds, “We send patients to do lots of different things, such as getting a cast, getting their stitches or staples out…It is important not to lose track of these patients.”
A Natural Fit
“Since our office is fully electronic, the Versus system, with Floorplan View™ and interfaced to our WestCall LED room lights was a natural fit.”
Dr. Donald Bliss
“We looked at expanding the use of the nurse call lights, but that would only help the clinical staff and we felt it was important for our entire staff to be involved with patient flow and management. We chose Versus because it met our needs the best.”
The Versus Solution at WestSound
Patients and staff throughout the WestSound facility wear Versus badges which emit infrared and radio-frequency signals to strategically-placed ceiling-mounted sensors. These sensors identify the patient and staff locations and make the information available on Enterprise View™ and Floorplan View™ at workstations throughout the facility. This way, all staff know where a particular patient is, even if the patient has been sent to another department, such as radiology.
Aatronics, Inc. was responsible for integrating the Versus system to the WestCall nurse call system and LED lights. According to Dave Morgan of Aatronics, “The success of this project is due to teamwork—any challenges we encountered were quickly overcome through good communication.”
WestSound is pleased with the automation resulting from this integration. They now automate a variety of system functions based on patient and staff locations, as well as badge button presses. Dome lights outside of treatment rooms change automatically based on pre-determined events created in the Versus Rules Engine™.
These events represent stages in Enterprise View that range from the patient being checked in and a room being assigned to an x-ray in progress and the patient discharge/room dirty notification. Various combinations of icons, dome lights (solid and flashing) identify each of these stages and are immediately recognizable to WestSound’s staff.
“As the only RTLS with the accuracy necessary to be trusted by care providers, Versus was a good choice for WestSound. It enables them to see more patients and do it with fewer resources.” Paul Timmerman, VP of Business Development of Versus Technology, Inc.
Making a Difference
Dr. Bliss agrees, noting the “system has been an unquestionable success with the staff. They love being able to locate the physician at a glance and the ‘staff assist’ feature allows them to appear, like magic, when doctors need assistance or x-rays are needed.”
“We are able to find one another,” Mindy explains. “It sounds kind of simple, but when you have a clinic our size and a patient volume like ours, it is important that you have quick access to staff and physician resources, as well as the patients.”
“We are able to not only track our patients, but “manage” their experiences here at WestSound Orthopaedics. The physicians are able to get immediate assistance from staff by utilizing this integrated system. X-ray is automatically notified of patients needing films done and while the patient is in x-ray, everyone knows that’s where they are at. We don’t roam the halls looking for help or for people.”
Being an appointment-based clinic, time is of the essence, so WestSound uses Versus to not only track patients and staff, but also report on each doctor’s clinical flow, room usage and flow through radiology. It helps to guard against bottlenecks and determine where additional resources may be necessary. For example, WestSound can track time spent with patients according to the patient need or condition, allowing them to better estimate the amount of time they will need when scheduling appointments.
WestSound also uses the Versus solution to monitor patient progression. Staff receive pop-up message alerts when a patient’s wait time exceeds 30, 45 and 60 minutes. “Patients are fascinated with the system. They like knowing we care about their time and needs. They really like it when we notice that our doctors are running behind and offer them a free coffee from our in-house espresso bar before they ever have to come to the front desk and complain about being late.”
Efficiency and Effectiveness for ROI
While the Versus system was an additional expense for WestSound, especially as it had to consider many other technology-related expenses such as digital radiography, MRI, bone density scanning (DEXA) and EMR equipment, they would make the same investment again.
Dr. Bliss explains, “With the advanced locating features, WestSound gained an intuitive computer interface, event monitoring, automatic room status and patient flow changes, and a number of workflow functions and visual communication features that simply would not have been possible without Versus.”
“With only six months of use, it would be difficult to determine a direct ROI, but I would definitely say it has an indirect affect on our ROI.” Mindy continues, “The Versus system improves efficiency and effectiveness, the two ingredients necessary to improve anyone’s ROI.”
“Everyone benefits from the Versus system. As an office, we are able to be more efficient and effective, which in turn provides more optimal care for our patients.”
A Closer Look At Automation
With accurate location information and rules for business intelligence, WestSound has reduced the need for manual entry regarding patient orders and updates to patient progression.
Detailed below are some of the simultaneous and automated actions triggered by a singe event.
About WestSound Orthopaedics, PS
About AAtronics, Inc.