Patient Tracking Systems and Their Benefits
Before going digital, systems like those used for patient tracking, were most commonly associated with complex software and applications, people used more traditional versions. For instance, the Los Angeles Air Force Base’s 61st Medical Squadron uses management boards—which is simply a structured whiteboard broken down into different segments. Their leaders use the boards to keep an eye on their quality checks on their pharmaceutical equipment to make sure bacteria aren’t present in the water added to powdered prescriptions.
Nevertheless, while that system works for them, we can’t deny the fact that technology makes processes more efficient. IT solutions are becoming more and more popular. App developers create new and innovative systems to simplify work. As such, medical professionals need healthcare management IT solutions to continuously strive to improve their performance to provide the best healthcare they can.
Health technology, in particular, has reached new peaks with the use of patient tracking systems. So how does this system improve a hospital’s day-to-day operations?
Tracks room availability
Sharp HealthCare’s Chula Vista Medical Center has acknowledged this fact and has transformed its asset tracking system into a real-time location system (RTLS) patient tracking program. They assigned their patients unique numbered tags with barcodes and used infrared technology to detect where the patient is located. You can also monitor the number of rooms you have available at a time. Initially, their goal was to make their bed management process more efficient. They wanted to ensure that patients didn’t have to wait too long before receiving treatment. However, this technology also provides other benefits like allowing hospitals to track the number of high-risk patients they accommodate at a time.
Recently, a man credited an apple watch after it saved his father’s life. When the watch detects a “hard fall”, it immediately sends a report of the owner’ location to an emergency number—even if they had fallen in a remote area. This allows emergency medical services to respond quickly and maximizes the patient’s chance to survive.
This isn’t the first time a smartwatch has saved a life. People have reported that the watch’s heart rate monitor showed irregularly high beats per minute. These turned out to be a symptom of heart attacks (that they initially brushed off because they felt fine), clogged arteries (that required surgery), and atrial fibrillation.
The watch is also useful during accidents. It helped save a mother and son who were driving home when they got hit by a drunk driver. The mother only instructed her watch to call 911, but the watch also sent out their location—allowing the emergency team to send them to a hospital.
Monitoring patients’ treatments
Each patient’s tag isn’t simply just a label with numbers. They can also be developed to record personal data like their prescribed medication, scheduled appointments or tests, allergies and more. This allows floor nurses to identify their location straight from the patient tracking system and be able to assist them regardless of their needs—from taking their prescriptions to being on time for medical procedures.
Spend less time commuting to clinics
Oftentimes, we spend a lot of time commuting to work, to the bank, or to get checked at the nearest hospital. Unfortunately, the commute takes significantly more time if you come from a remote area. Naval Hospital Jacksonville acknowledges this and decides to provide virtual visits—a more convenient option. It caters to all kinds of concerns, including behavioral health, family medicine, nutrition, and a whole lot more. The patients don’t necessarily have to be in close proximity with their corresponding physicians. With a patient tracking system, they only need to schedule a virtual appointment and they’ll be able to receive real-time care through a video-enabled device. They originally designed the app to allow sailors and marines to engage in Period Health Assessment (PHA). However, it can also accommodate active duty, retirees, and their family members.
Organized staff schedules
Being on top of your staff’s workload improves your overall efficiency. Having a thorough breakdown of their schedule allows you to easily coordinate which of them best fits your patients. You can even analyze trends in your patient flow. Furthermore, a patient tracking system shows you each patient’s progress. You can identify who’s accountable for accommodating them through each step of the way.
Are there any diseases that are becoming more common? How many machines do you use on a daily basis? Do you need to stock up on medication? All these questions (and more) can be answered by the reports you get from the patient-tracking system. You can also determine if you need to hire more people based on the workload they currently have.
Patient tracking systems like PxTrack can help doctors maintain secured and centralized patients’ records in the cloud. This way, regardless of the number of hospitals and clinics doctors report to, they have access to a centralized database wherein they can view or modify their patients’ data. This is much more efficient than having to visit a specific clinic for the hard copies of your patients’ records and consultation forms. Having your own customizable system guarantees that all your needs to effectively save lives are available within a system on-hand.