Task Management optimises service personnel procedures and service logistics at Aalborg University Hospital
IT support of service logistics makes it easier to coordinate and plan service tasks. Task Management is used at Aalborg University Hospital and is a part of Columna Service Logistics.
- Lack of efficiency in planning and coordination of hospital tasks
- Poor communication
- Lack of shared information about status of tasks and staff location
- Flexible and intuitive solution, accessed by staff through smartphones
- The system suggests the most effective sequence of tasks
- Increased patient safety
- Optimised workflow
- Increased awareness of colleague and task status
- Greater efficiency: less time spent waiting for patients and clinical staff
IMPROVED OVERVIEW AND SERVICE LOGISTICS
Aalborg University Hospital decided to run the pilot project because of issues such as a lack of proper overview of service personnel's whereabouts and status, and because too much time was being spent on the telephone when tasks were being transferred. By working closely in ongoing workshops, both staff and management were able to be involved in the development of the Task Management application. The aim was to develop a solution that matched user needs as efficiently as possible. Task Management has been running as a pilot project in Aalborg University Hospital since February 2013 and the results are already significant and measurable.
Task Management means less waiting time for patients and better service logistics
The former procedure was handled by a coordinator who received all incoming tasks for service personnel over the telephone. These were then transferred and verbally allocated to the service personnel.
TELEPHONE CALLS HAVE BEEN REDUCED BY
TASK MANAGEMENT HAS BECOME PART OF DAILY PROCEDURES
Using existing infrastructure at the hospital, the application collects information about where service personnel are in the hospital. Service personnel use smartphone to see where their nearest colleagues and tasks are. This increases efficiency and patient waiting time is minimised.
"One of the changes is that secretaries and clinical staff, for example in the x-ray department, enter their programme for the day into the system in the morning. This means we have much greater scope for adjusting our procedure accordingly because tasks don't come in on an ad-hoc basis any longer," says Aalborg University Hospital Administrator, Lars Esko.
In April 2014 the local news station 24Nordjyske showed a feature on Task Management in Aalborg. The feature shows how the solutions benefits patients, orderlies and hospital management.
Copyright: Nordjyske medier
SIGNIFICANT, MEASURABLE BENEFITS
A crucial reason for why Task Management has become so successful at Aalborg University Hospital is the constructive way its staff-locating function is used. There is not a competition to see who can carry out the most tasks. Management does not raise any criticisms about where service staff are in the hospital either. This has meant that a learning culture has evolved, where staff exchange and discuss ideas with each other and plan together. The staff have built up a much greater overall understanding – focus has moved from the individual level to the ward as a whole. Exchanging and discussing ideas and mutual planning makes it easier for the staff to understand the individual's role and clarifies how the individual member of staff can contribute as part of the wider team.
LESS WAITING TIME AND FEWER INTERRUPTIONS
Deployment across the entire hospital is well underway. "While the system is still being deployed, we still have a coordinator function. But the number of calls to the coordinator has fallen by 40-50 %, and this will continue to fall in line with more wards using Task Management,” explains Lars Esko. He continues: "Obviously, ensuring that patients get the best possible treatment is utmost in the minds of all of the staff at the hospital. Task Management means we can do our jobs with less waiting time, better information and optimal service logistics."
Another benefit the system delivers is that clinical personnel experience far fewer interruptions during the day. Now they can now place their tasks with service staff in the morning and concentrate on more important tasks. Because they experience far fewer interruptions, the level of stress has been minimised.
Task Management collects a range of data about peak load periods, types of task, etc. The management can use this information, for example to organise a shift plan, analyse waiting times, improve service logistics, etc.
TOTAL NUMBER OF USERS