North Älvsborg County Hospital
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October 24, 2022

Swedish hospitals improve their hospital logistics with Columna Flow

In Sweden, eight hospitals located in the Västra Götaland Region now use the Columna Flow Task Management solution and benefit from more efficient hospital logistics.

 

Challenge

• Predefined timeslots with task limitations
• Tasks are ordered manually and through three phones Lacking overview of tasks and location

 

Solution

• A user-friendly and intuitive system
• Overview of own and colleagues’ tasks
• Fewer steps and less time spent per task

 

Benefits

  • Better overview of tasks and capacity creates transparency
  • Optimised workflow
  • Increased patient safety

Limited time slots and manual procedures

Back in 2020, two Swedish hospitals with very different workflows in the Västra Götaland Region experienced challenges with their respective workflows and logistic services. Because of the different workflows within the same region and the associated challenges, the region wanted to streamline the workflow of regional services to create better alignment. To overcome these challenges, they assessed the implementation of a digital task management solution, Columna Flow Task Management.

At Borås Hospital, the service department already operated with a digital solution, however, that meant fixed time slots of 15 minutes and a limited number of tasks within the solution. The system did not allow for much flexibility, since all available timeslots were often booked. This resulted in challenges for the requesters of the service task, as they either had to do the task themselves or book the next available timeslot. This inconvenient way of booking tasks led to the hospital’s need for a system with greater flexibility, transparency, and overview – without compromising the quality of the service level.

The situation was different at Norra Älvsborgs County Hospital as their workflows for ordering and carrying out service tasks were manual. For instance, patient transport was complicated and required several steps from staff. It resulted in confusing and complex handwritten notes, and a coordinator being responsible for three phones of which two were for receiving tasks from the nurses from the clinic and one was for communication with the service employees. Such responsibility puts the coordinator in a stressful situation where requests could easily be mixed up and lead to waiting times for the requesters – and ultimately for the patients.

A new beneficial way of ordering tasks

After implementing the Task Management solution at both hospitals, service staff now benefit greatly from the digital service logistics system. Porters and service staff at Borås Hospital now order tasks in a completely new and improved way. Although they were concerned as to whether they could meet the service level agreements with the clinic as they were no longer limited in the number of tasks created. This concern has however been put to rest as data shows that the service employees carry out tasks more efficiently and on time.

At Norra Älvsborgs County Hospital, tasks are now being ordered digitally and staff benefit from a less complicated and more user-friendly task management system. This means that they create a task which goes to the collected overview and is then chosen by a porter. The porters can then independently choose which tasks to undertake, depending on proximity or importance.

To get all tasks done in time, the hospital has set up a task creation dialogue with a default of 15 minutes interval. Data shows that the hospital, from the first day of using the system, successfully carried out 96% of the ordered tasks on time.

Support and optimise task management

Columna Flow Task Management is developed to support and optimise task management for caregivers and service staff in a modern hospital. The solution enables staff to quickly access and update task information on the go. Task status and responsibilities are reflected in real-time on coordinator screens so that department managers and coordinators can follow the current situation and near-future development. An optimised overview ensures better planning and limits the number of disruptions, delays, and communication errors.

The main benefits from this solution are therefore:

  • Clear overview of tasks
  • Empowerment of portering staff
  • More efficient workflows
  • Improved coordination

Facts

Facts about the project

  • Both hospitals are in the Västra Götaland Region in Sweden. Borås Hospitals is located 70 km east of Gothenburg and Norra Älvsborgs County Hospital is located 80 km north of Gothenburg. They have, respectively, a capacity of 300 and 560 bed places.
  • From 2020-2022 the Columna Task Management system has been implemented at six other hospitals in Sweden: Mölndal Hospital (2020), Sahlgrenska University Hospital (2020), Östra Hospital (2020), Kungälv Hospital (2021), Allingsås Hospital (2021), and as of recently, Skaraborg Hospital in Skövde (2022).

Facts about Västra Götaland

  • Healthcare in Västra Götaland is divided into four different geographical areas, with several hospitals in each area.
  • Region Västra Götaland consists of 17 hospitals providing both emergency and planned treatment in a number of specialised fields. Emergency treatment is concentrated to certain hospitals in order to maintain a high level of quality and safety. Other hospitals specialise in planned care and have developed profiles of their own.