In today’s ever changing healthcare world, effective communication among healthcare team members is essential to provide safe and quality patient care. Conventional communication methods such as the telephone and the word of mouth are no longer the most effective ways of communicating important aspect of patient care. So health organizations are adopting communication systems which improve interaction among healthcare providers (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2012). Recently my hospital adopted a new operating system called Care Logistics. Care logistics is a “…centralized care coordination model to efficiently anticipate, prioritize, coordinate, schedule, prepare for and track all patient movement, care, services and transport. This coordination of multiple people and departments establishes predictability and timeliness, improving throughput while best serving patients and caregivers.” (Care Logistics, n.d.).
Order logistic is a section of care logistics that directly involves the nurses. Order logistics is a central order organizers, service departments and unit clinical care coordinators to manage simultaneous patient service demand across the hospital. The right patients receive tests and procedures in the order that best serves individual. After the nurse receives his/her assignment for the shift, she will log into care logistics to view the patient itinerary for the day. If a particular procedure such as transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) is scheduled at 10 o’clock a.m. Order logistics will communicate with the nurse that the patient will need to be NPO for at least eight hours, have a consent for the procedure and have at least a 20 gauge peripheral IV.
Order logistics clearly shows nurses, doctors and service areas what is needed in order to deliver appropriate services. The nurse will acknowledge the procedure. By doing this, the logistics hub knows the nurse is aware that this patient has a procedure pending. During this time, if all requirements are met to have procedure then the nurse will make this procedure green, indicating that transportation can come for this patient. But for instance if the nurse was having a hard time getting the consent because the patient has dementia and the family is unobtainable, then the nurse can make a note indicating the reason why this patient is not ready.
Benefits of Care Logistics
With care logistics, nurses are able to let patients and families know their daily itinerary. This eliminates the uncertainty of the day and the constant inquiry from patients about when certain events will occur. Order logistics allow nurses to spend more time with patients instead of the repeated interruptions by phone pages from radiology and other various departments. Acknowledging the procedures and/or indicating that the patient is ready, the nurse does not have to worry about scheduling and can spend more of her time providing quality bedside care. With order logistics doctors have started receiving test results more quickly. This allows them to appropriately diagnose and treat patients. Care logistics move patients through the hospital faster, by reducing wasted time and average length of stay for patients. Care logistics enhances communication and workflow while keeping the care in the forefront. As with any new healthcare technology patient care is the focus.
Barriers of Care Logistics
As with any new technological tool, there will be barriers that arise. Compliance of staff members to care logistics has been a problem. Resistance has occurred because nurses look at this system as another task to be completed. In actuality it is not anther task, it is eliminating repeated telephone calls and the uncertainty of what the patient need. Most of the nurses that experience this are older nurses that view change as a difficult obstacle. This slows down the process. Before the hospital went live with care logistics, there was a brief class orientation to the system.
For someone that does not have a problem with maneuvering themselves around computer systems, a brief class orientation is sufficient. However for the nurses that struggle with computerized charting should be given the opportunity for extending class time. During their sessions they would be given scenarios of multiple patient itineraries and be guided through the care logistic process. If this was done then the hospital would probably have better compliance with this new communicating system.
Care Logistics. (n.d.). Care Coordination Model. Retrieved from http://www.carelogistics.com/solution/care-coordination-model.aspx
McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K.G. (2012). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (Laureate Education, Inc., custom ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.