WICHITA – Often, the hardest part of a loved one having surgery is waiting for information. At Wesley Medical Center, patients – and their caregivers – now have real-time updates of the entire surgery process thanks to new technology that is a first for Kansas.
Wesley has begun using ORControl workflow technology in its surgical services department. The $500,000 investment provides Wesley with real-time transparency and control, managing each patient’s case by seamlessly scheduling and coordinating the minute-by-minute activities of dozens of individuals and departments inside and outside the hospital, from housekeepers to surgeons.
“Families of patients are always anxious to find out the location of their loved ones,” said Kevin Fitzpatrick, Wesley’s director of surgical services and associate chief nursing officer. “ORControl gives real-time transparency to the families regarding the status and location of their loved ones with a color-coded process system that lets them know exactly where their loved ones are – setting them at ease and reducing some of the unknowns.”
Wesley is the only hospital to incorporate the technology. There are 28 ORControl patient status boards located on three floors at Wesley, including one in the cafeteria. Caregivers also have access to the information on smartphones and mobile devices.
“This new technology allows us to coordinate the activities, communications, logistics and workflow challenges of all appropriate surgery-related personnel,” Fitzpatrick said “This real-time control will help us create better efficiencies and improve our operational productivity.”
Developed by Healthcare Control Systems (HCS), ORControl uses a real-time locating system to automate the process of updating patient movements, the location of critical staff and equipment and the status of each case – creating actionable information for all users.
“The same HCS-proprietary technology that revolutionized the U.S. transportation industry is empowering healthcare leaders to continuously improve throughput and safety while also reducing waste,” said Tom Feo, MD, HCS CEO and co-founder.
Documented operational improvements include increased case volumes and on-time starts; reduction in room turnover times, patient wait times and surgery delays; and improved satisfaction for patients, staff and surgeons with an expected 90 percent reduction of phone call volume.
“Physicians can see real-time case status, view their schedule and see how surgery is queueing up for the day all with their smartphone or other mobile device,” Fitzpatrick said. “They won’t need to call us for status updates.”
A Healthcare Systems Process Improvement Conference (HSPIC) presentation by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs showed additional benefits for the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston after implementing ORControl. The hospital reported $4.9 million in savings per year due to increased throughput, while simultaneously reducing overtime by 50 percent.
“Optimizing workflow is no longer just a nicety, but an essential technology allowing hospitals to exceed the expectations of their patients, staff and communities,” Dr. Feo said. “Through ORControl, Wesley's personnel and its many departments are now on the same page at the same time resulting in superior patient care and lower costs.”
Wesley Medical Center is the region’s leading acute care hospital network providing a full range of diagnostic and treatment services for patients throughout Kansas and northern Oklahoma since 1912. As a leader in Overall Recommended Care, Wesley treats more than 24,000 patients annually and delivers more than 6,000 babies – more than any hospital in a 13-state region. Wesley provides the most extensive emergency network in Wichita, with Wesley ER, Wesley West ER and Galichia ER. Wesley owns and operates Galichia Heart Hospital, WESLEYCare Clinics and the Pediatric Center of Kansas. To learn more about Wesley Medical Center, please visit www.wesleymc.com.
About Healthcare Control Systems
Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Healthcare Control Systems (HCS) has been designing, developing and deploying award-winning, real-time control solutions for more than 20 years – first in the manufacturing and transportation industries, and now in healthcare. HCS prides itself on helping significantly grow the revenues and contribution margins of its hospital clients, while increasing safety, and the satisfaction of patients, staff and physicians. For more information, visit www.hcs.us.com.