Efficiency is essential in any medical environment, which is why it’s critical for medical facilities to have the proper equipment including stationary and mobile workstations, to work effectively. But that isn’t all; medical facilities also need basic procedures to ensure that medical professionals’ workflow is as effective and streamlined as possible. Continue reading to learn more about the importance of this streamlined workflow for nurses and why you need to ensure that your nurses have everything they require to work as quickly and effectively as possible.
What is Clinical Workflow?
Clinical workflow, in short, is a logical sequence of operations that are carried out in a specific order to achieve a predefined result within the delivery of various clinical services. The aim of clinical workflow involves improving the overall functionality of the healthcare system to streamline multiple processes and offer patients the best possible healthcare experience.
The Best Ways to Streamline Nursing Workflows
When it comes to implementing a range of new procedures to help streamline nurses’ workflow, there is a wide range of factors that people should keep in mind. Some of the most effective methods to developing this streamlined medical workflow include:
Nurses are constantly on the move, whether because they are responding to patients, imputing data into computers, or handling one of their other countless tasks. As a result, it can be challenging for nurses to know which tasks should be handled first, primarily when many clinical communication platforms only use a single beep or buzz to alert a nurse that their presence is needed. Such systems mean that nurses don’t know if they need to fetch an extra pillow or if something severe is happening. To correct this, medical facilities should consider implementing different alert systems, such as color-coded alerts or alerts signaled by different audible tones. This will allow nurses to understand the type of situations they’re being called to assist with and can help prevent unnecessary interruptions.
Driving Alerts to the Right Roles on the Care Team
Nurses actively function as the glue that keeps patient care teams together, and they will frequently take on tasks that are not a part of their general job description. However, this can easily create a wedge in the effective workflow of nurses that can impede their overall performance and ability to get everything done. To prevent this, medical facilities should ensure that communication platforms exist to direct alerts and tasks to teams and individuals best suited to handle them. Alerts for low batteries, for example, can be automatically sent to qualified Biomed technicians, so nurses don’t have to break away from their routine tasks to change the batteries themselves.
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Connecting Disparate Systems
Many medical facilities operate using silo-like departments that rarely interact with one another, despite nurses having to interact with all of them daily. This can easily create ineffective situations that restrict the information available to nurses and other medical staff at any given time. Effective communication platforms in clinical settings should allow regular and clear communication between these departments, such as through computerized electronic health record (EHR) delivery, best practice alerts, and Modified Early Warning Scores (MEWS). Such systems ensure that necessary information is delivered and accessed by the needed individuals at the correct times. In the case of facilities that don’t utilize EHR, they can rely on custom dividers and pull tab alerts provided by Carstens, which serve as the industry standard for flagging patient charts and allerting both nurses and doctors to the next steps of patient needs and treatment.
Building Visibility in Workflow Processes
Making your medical facility’s workflow as visible and straightforward as possible is one of the best ways to ensure that your nurses work in a streamlined and effective manner. Workflows should also be frequently reviewed, discussed, and updated with new improvements based on what is and isn’t working. This will require considerable time and a dedication to communication from facility higher-ups, who will need to routinely check in with nurses to get their opinions on the system and ensure the development of workflow best practices. Carstens offers a wide range of expertly written policy and procedure manuals that can help medical professionals optimize their workflow processes and keep everything effectively organized.
Adding New Technologies to Assist at the Point-of-Care
EHR systems should allow nurses to have quick and easy access to patient information, and it should then be easy to map that information into helpful, customized patient handouts. To do this effectively, medical facilities will need to fully understand how information flows within a medical environment, especially between distinct departments. Higher-ups will need to ensure they consider the perspectives of these different departments and how data can best be exchanged between them. Much like making workflow processes visible, this will require considerable time, dedication, and communication to work effectively.
Final Thoughts on Nursing Workflows
The workflow of nurses in medical facilities needs to be streamlined for them to do their jobs as effectively as possible while enhancing the quality of patient care. This practice will require a considerable amount of time, effort, and strategy from medical staff. Still, it will help ensure nurses can handle everything they need to without issues or wasted time.Is your clinic, hospital, or private medical practice in need of some new medical gear, workstations, personal protective equipment, and more? Check out the range of top-quality products proudly provided by the industry experts at Carstens today to learn about everything they can do for you.