Overview of the challenge
Healthcare is a complex and fast paced environment, therefore robust tracking and allocation of resources is highly important to keep up with the ever-growing demands. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of optimizing resources efficiently. However, as demands increase, resources remain limited and unsteady.
One of the biggest challenges in this area was how to manage the allocation, status and count of resources in a fast-moving and high-impact environment like Critical Care. The status of important resources like ward beds or medical equipment can change rapidly, and the process surrounding these changes can be highly flexible and complex, therefore knowing the current status of everything can become a logistical nightmare. It is a common challenge seen across healthcare, and a scene many in the sector are familiar with. Even in some of the largest hospitals and emergency departments around the country, ward administrators and nurse practitioners still resort to traditional “telephone calling trees” or polling systems to ask where resources may be available.
The North Thames Pediatric Network (NTPN) approached Kinseed to help develop a reliable resource management software to address this problem during a critical event: a significant shortage of beds across the network. The aim of the project was to create a solution that increased transparency and ease of bed-level management across departments and the entire hospital network.
Our MediTrack solution
We worked closely with clinicians to develop a transformative solution – called “MediTrack”, part of Kinseed’s SwiftCare Suite. The solution is a cloud-based application that gives healthcare providers a clear, single view dashboard of activity across departments and entire hospital networks.
MediTrack was designed initially as a resource management application for beds and clinical resources, but as the application began to grow, a new opportunity was identified: applying this resource tracking model to a universal mode of resources. While bed space may be at the top of the list for improvement of transparency within the NHS, there are countless other resource types and categories which equally require rapid, accurate data to be shared on their availability and capability.
Through this, MediTrack was extended to rely heavily on the flexi-data-model found elsewhere in the SwiftCare suite, such as in the MediLog clinical information management system. This cutting-edge technology allowed MediTrack to seamlessly and instantly manage and control any resource types that a unit may have available. Customization of not only the resource list and categorization, but the process and state surrounding those resources, allows the system to be shifted in a way that works best to those using it.
Impact of MediTrack
MediTrack is now used by over 25 hospitals across the UK. The solution has resulted in numerous productivity and service improvements, including greater visibility of resources for multi-disciplinary teams. The increased transparency across the board has significantly helped patient flow and quality of care. In addition, enhanced detail and accurate documentation has improved staff efficiency and communication, helping to overcome backlog and service disruption, as well as resulting in better budgeting.
Real-time availability allows clinicians to plan ahead of future admissions by identifying immediate challenges or needs, enabling staff to plan interventions accordingly. Resources can be aligned with high-priority work, resulting in better response to emergencies.