Category: Federal Forum Posters
Purpose: Sustaining quality and access while maintaining cost is a challenge for many organizations. This can be overcome by enhancing efficiency using technology. The expansion of a large infusion center from ten to 18 chairs with minimal staffing increase resulted in the need to ensure workflow efficiency. This project was designed to implement an infusion center patient tracking board to enhance efficiency and communication.
Methods: A team of pharmacists researched how infusion centers across the country are tracking infusion center patients and explored the system’s electronic health record (EHR) capability. The team obtained approval from the Medical Informatics Steering Team (MIST) to build a tracking board and collaborated with information technology, EHR, pharmacy and nursing teams for implementation plan. Once the board was created and tested, nursing and pharmacy staff were trained on its use. The team evaluated workflow pre- and post-implementation to assess effectiveness.
Results: The team identified an academic center using the same EHR platform with tracking board technology, then evaluated the board features and customized a board to align with workflow. The team presented the need and development plan to MIST for approval, then partnered with multiple disciplines to develop three customized tracking boards for pharmacy and nursing with 18 patient specific notifications. Fifteen nurses and twenty-one pharmacy staff completed training on the new tracking board workflow. An average of 535 phone calls per month were eliminated, totaling 36 hours per month of nursing and pharmacy time saved, equal to $22K in annual cost avoidance. Over 70 nursing hours monthly were saved with real time notification when medication ready, equal to $36K in annual cost avoidance. Safety improved with less phone call interruption and real-time tracking of patient status. Communication improved through notification of infusion chair status; location of patient; identification of assigned nurse; identifiable fall risk, allergies, provider, and weight; two-way communication for nursing and pharmacy; and patient’s length of stay.
Conclusion: Implementation of an infusion center tracking board resulted in enhanced efficiency and improved communication.