New IT solution improves service levels and job satisfaction at Västra Götaland hospitals

Not even the coronavirus has been able to halt the implementation of a new task system for coordinating orderlies’ tasks at seven hospitals in Sweden’s Västra Götaland County.

Press release23 September 2020

In 2019, a group of hospitalists and project implementation managers from Västra Götaland Region visited Glostrup Hospital in Denmark to take a closer look at a new IT solution which had contributed to more efficient workflows and an improved working environment for the hospital’s service staff. The solution – Columna Task – is developed by the Danish software company Systematic, and at Glostrup Hospital, the system had halved the number of telephone calls between orderlies and coordinators and contributed to a more efficient use of the orderlies’ time.

Region Västra Götaland purchased the solution for seven of its largest hospitals. The implementation began a year ago at Mölndals Hospital, and since then, not even the coronavirus outbreak has slowed the process.

Recently, it was the employees at Östra Hospital’s turn to begin using Columna Task. Östra Hospital is part of Sweden’s largest hospital, Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, which comprises three hospitals with almost 2,000 beds in total.

Fewer phone calls – more attentiveness and greater collaboration

Columna Task digitises the ordering and coordination of the orderlies’ hospital tasks. All the tasks are brought together in one system that can be accessed through a smartphone. This enables clinicians to order tasks via the system, and the orderlies to access pending tasks via their smartphone. Orderlies can see the location, type, expected duration and the priority of the tasks – and based on that info, they can pick their next task from the list. This means a lot of unnecessary steps are saved, and the orderlies do not have to answer incoming calls about new tasks when transporting patients or equipment around the hospital.

The Task application for the hospital service function provides an overview of the status and location of both orderlies and tasks.

“In addition to the practical benefits of the system, the orderlies experience greater job satisfaction because they have a much bigger say in how they spend their working day. It has also led to much smoother collaboration between the staff groups,” says Mikael Östling, project manager and company developer at Regionservice in Västra Götaland.

New habits require adaptation

The changes for the employees have been noticeably positive, but both orderlies and coordinators needed to get to know the system.

“Previously, the coordinators sent tasks directly to the individual orderly, but now they just have to enter the tasks in the system, where they can also keep track of when they are resolved. The orderlies no longer need to call the coordinators when they have completed one task and need to ask for the next one. They just have to put a digital check mark against the solved task – and choose the next. It works very well,” says Mikael Östling.

Corona is no obstacle to implementation

The outbreak of coronavirus has led to a hive of activity at Swedish hospitals – particularly at Östra Hospital, which is the hospital designated for treating COVID-19 patients. Still, the roll-out of Columna Task has gone smoothly:

“So far, we have implemented Columna Task in three out of seven hospitals in Västra Götaland, and right now we are exactly where we need to be according to the plan. It’s pretty impressive when you consider that all the workshops and intro courses with Systematic and Östra Hospital were held online due to corona,” explains Jacob Gade.

Solution delivered as Software as a Service (SaaS)

Region Västra Götaland has been the first customer to purchase Columna Task as Software as a Service, where Systematic is responsible for both delivering and operating the solution.

“SaaS products of this magnitude offer many advantages because they are more scalable and allow the customer to choose precisely the tools they want in order to increase user efficiency in everyday life without having to rely on IT technicalities. At the same time, the customer avoids having to make a large capital investment, and only has to pay the variable service costs on an ongoing basis,” explains Jacob Gade.

He is looking forward to repeating the process at the next four hospitals in Sweden: Norra Älvsborg County Hospital, Borås Hospital, Alingsås Hospital and Kungälv Hospital. Implementation is expected to be completed at all the hospitals by January 2021.

Columna Task is currently used in hospitals in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Scotland and Australia.

About the project

Region Västra Götaland has bought Columna Task for seven hospitals in the county:

  • Sahlgrenska University Hospital: Östra Hospital, Sahlgrenska Hospital and Mölndal Hospital, which have all implemented the solution.

Next hospitals to implement Columna Task:

  • Södra Älvsborg Hospital (Borås) - October 2020
  • Norra Älvsborg County Hospital - November 2020
  • Kungälv Hospital - January 2021
  • Alingsås Hospital (Alingsås Lasarett) - January 2021

Read more about Columna Task Management

Read case story from Aalborg University Hospital