Improvements with Bed Management Software

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Monday, 01 July 2013 18:22

With today’s technological advancements there have been many improvements to patient care. Medical equipment upgrades, mobile apps and software to not only improve patient safety but also improve the quality of care. Some of these advancements are more known than others and some are never even noticed by the patient. Many hospitals are now using bed management software which allows the ward staff to locate and track the status of a bed improving patient flow management and in turn dramatically improves patient wait times and much more. “As hospital administrators grapple with ways to maximize limited resources, bed management applications are a logical answer for many facilities looking at ways to improve the flow of inpatients throughout their facility,” says Lorren Pettit, MS, MBA, Vice President, Research, HIMSS Analytics

First, let’s take a look at some of the challenges with bed management in the healthcare setting. Every patient needs a bed before they can be treated. Beds are used by numerous patients each day and must be thoroughly cleaned by Environmental Services before it can be assigned to a new patient. This protects the patient from contracting new illnesses such as infectious diseases. Preventative Maintenance (PMs) are performed routinely to ensure the bed is operating as it should and will not malfunction during treatment and jeopardize the safety of a patient so even if a bed is unoccupied it may still be unavailable for a new guest. Patient loads in the Emergency Department (ED) can sometimes increase and exceed the maximum capacity of the ED creating patient overflow which requires patients to be moved to other units. Patients are often moved for services related to their treatment such as an x-ray or MRI. Inaccuracy in bed allocation and tracking which beds are available and which are in use can greatly impact patient flow management and your work flow. These are just a few reasons why bed management software is needed in the clinical setting.

The Joint Commission (JC) accreditation and certification is recognized nationwide and sets certain performance standards to continuously improve the safety and quality of healthcare for the public. JC requires hospitals to have an overflow procedure in place so they can help all patients within a certain period of time. Many hospitals overflow procedures involves placing patients and their beds in other departments so each department can lend a hand and ensure the patient receives quality care in a timely manner. This is just one example where bed tracking comes in handy.

Now let’s take a look at some of the Bed Management software on today’s market. Bed Management Suite by Teletracking shows the location, bed status and even the status of the patient. When the patient is discharged the software automatically notifies Environmental Services (EVS) that the bed needs to be cleaned which cuts down on the amount of time the bed is out of use and ensures it has been cleaned by EVS before it can be used by the next patient. Showing the location of each bed helps the staff located the bed to perform scheduled PMs. Central Logic also provides Bed Management software, Core, which maximizes patient through-put, eliminates bed hiding, notifies EVS for bed cleaning and has a mostly IT free install as it is accessed online via your web browser so it can even be accessed from your mobile device.

There are many bed management softwares to choose from. The most important thing about bed management software is choosing the software that best suits your organization’s needs. With so many different options to choose from this can be a bit overwhelming but you don’t have to go it alone. Working with a third party to select and implement your new software can ease this transition as they can review your current processes and workflow and help you to choose the best software to meet your specific needs. They are a great resource that will stand by you and even assist with managing the implementation, provide training to your staff and answer questions along the way to make it a smooth transition and help you to get the most out of your new software.

-Danielle French