Data-driven task management provides overview and more efficient use of resources
Accurate data contributes to fast and reliable service for patients, optimised workflows, and better dialogue between departments and staff.
In the spring of 2018, Nordsjællands Hospital implemented the Columna Flow Task Management solution as part of a new development strategy. Nordsjællands Hospital includes the hospitals at Hillerød and Frederikssund and the system has contributed to managing logistics at both locations. The Columna Flow solution is based on the data-driven management of the logistics operations in this Danish hospital.
Since Columna Flow Task Management was implemented, Nordsjællands Hospital has experienced major changes in the day-to-day logistics. Previously, the staff used only manual procedures This meant that when a task needed to be ordered and handled, the departments had to either call the central office, which allocated the task appropriately, or placed a direct call to the particular service assistants working for each department.
The implementation of the digital Columna Flow Task Management system means that the service personnel at Hillerød and Frederikssund Hospital now have a comprehensive overview of the tasks they are required to handle, while also generating data that helps the hospital provide the best service for patients.
”Digitisation of the whole process is in itself a huge gain for our logistics operations. What has been done and how it has been done are now both documented. This has significantly changed the way we collaborate with the different departments,” explains John Bjørn Olsen, development manager for Facility Management at Nordsjællands Hospital. John Bjørn Olsen elaborates: “The volume, frequency, and speed of our service tasks have all improved, because we now have a clear picture of what we have to deal with”.
The overview of the tasks in the Columna Flow solution has resulted in a large amount of data that the hospitals can use to improve communication between the different departments, hospital management, and the service centre. The data that the task management system generates is used for several different purposes.
One example is when service management must deliver a regular report to the Executive Board every quarter. The data from the system is used to present how service personnel have performed in relation to the service agreements. This type of reporting was simply not possible before implementing the Columna Flow Task Management solution.
Nordsjællands Hospital’s use of data has led to organisational changes in terms of logistics, explains John Bjørn Olsen: “We can now move tasks between teams, with opportunities to ensure a good match with the particular skills available. This gives us a better focus on skills development among our service staff, which in turn creates more opportunities for the different teams and provides greater flexibility in our overall logistics setup.”
Data has also had a significant impact on the way service staff and the departments cooperate in day-to-day operations.
The data from the Columna Flow solution is used at meetings between service management and the departments. The service management receives the data from the system and uses it to analyse when and how issues arise in day-to-day operations. “Data means that we can now see where and how our service efforts were distributed in specific episodes,” explains John Bjørn Olsen.
Before implementing the new task management system, communication between the different departments and teams was different. If problems occur and tasks were not handled correctly, a series of interactions started between the concerning departments and service teams. The previous flow means that first head of the concerning department get hold of the service management team, who then informed the service staff concerned.
After the Columna Flow solution, the flow of communication has now been reversed, so it is the service managers who call in the departments for meetings. Here the service managers present how the service personnel have performed, based on the data to which the Columna Flow Task Management system has given them access.
"Previously, it was always a question of what we from the service team had been unable to deliver or could do better. It could be that an operating theatre had not been cleaned on time, or that a patient had arrived late for an examination. After the implementation, we have a clear overview of when and how problems occur, which can give rise to a good dialogue between the department and service staff," explains John Bjørn Olsen.
Regular meetings between the service management team and departments are now integrated in the task management process. It ensures an open dialogue about how to deliver based, based on concrete data. This is a process that contributes to an improved workflow between departments and service personnel as result of the Columna Flow Task Management solution.
The availability of relevant data from the Columna Flow Task Management solution has given Nordsjællands Hospital a clear insight into the relationship between the orders placed for service tasks and expected delivery time of these tasks. For example, data has enlighten that many tasks are ordered just before the department staffs’ lunch break, in connection with doctors’ ward rounds, or in conjunction with shift changes. Peaks occur in the logistics during these particular times, when the service personnel are unable to deal with the number of tasks.
“In cases like these, data has given us a way to register and measure these times, which has in turn contributed to a good, open dialogue between the service staff and the departments about why the demand peaks occur,” says John Bjørn Olsen.
For the service personnel, the Columna Flow solution has been a reorganisation the various teams at different times throughout the day. Simultaneously, the departments have focused on getting the tasking orders spread throughout day, so that shift change does not culminate with new tasks.
At Nordsjællands Hospital, data has created a strong foundation for better communication and dialogue, which benefits every part of the hospital when the big logistics jigsaw must be pieced together every single day.