Increasingly, health systems are acquiring a suite of automated perioperative solutions that create a complete record spanning the perioperative continuum. These solutions enable perioperative clinicians and staff to leverage comprehensive and cohesive electronic medical records and data analytics to optimize OR workflow.
Automated perioperative solutions help address fundamental OR challenges such as late case starts, delays, add-on cases and cancellations through advanced decision support tools. Components such as automated charge capture and dynamic patient tracking streamline information management within the OR.
Eliminating error prone manual charge capture by members of the surgical team helps enhance efficiency within the OR. Nurses can quickly track supplies, update preference cards and transmit data to a materials management system, which automatically reduces inventory and triggers reorders. Supply and non-supply costs are quickly and accurately calculated and, once verified, patient charges are automatically transmitted to billing for faster reimbursement.
After automating charge capture processes with Picis OR Manager, Presbyterian Health System, New Mexico, dramatically reduced charging errors, realized $21 million in additional captured charges and increased net revenue by approximately $1.6 million.
Further enhancing OR efficiency, an advanced patient tracking system helps clinicians and staff respond before bottlenecks occur. Much more than an automated whiteboard, the system provides critical pathways for each case which help determine whether or not a patient is moving as planned along the care process.
Pacific Northwest-based PeaceHealth rolled out Picis SmarTrack® intelligent patient tracking to enhance reporting and communication throughout the perioperative continuum. With SmarTrack, PeaceHealth was able to eliminate 1,600 phone calls daily across five of its hospitals’ OR departments. In order to keep all clinicians and staff informed, tracking screens were placed throughout the health system, streamlining communication.
“Clinicians and staff can’t be without SmarTrack for five minutes!” says Don Laack, Sr. Clinical Applications Analyst, PeaceHealth.
Successful implementation of an advanced suite of perioperative solutions requires a project champion to ensure that clinicians and staff embrace the new technology. Properly implemented technology enables management to measure OR efficiency on a daily basis, including OR turnover time, on-time surgery starts and OR utilization. In a manual environment, daily measuring of efficiency is difficult if not impossible, but technology-aided daily observation of OR efficiency can identify issues and behaviors as they happen, allowing for more timely corrective measures to keep the OR running on time. As a result, automated perioperative solutions ultimately enhances OR clinician and staff satisfaction.
Joe Smith is vice president of perioperative strategy at Picis.