Kansas City, Mo.-based ITWorks℠ client uses CareAware Connect™ to help improve nursing workflows.
Truman Medical Centers (TMC) staff needed to optimize nursing workflow while increasing staff satisfaction and improving patient safety.
The previous devices nurses used, such as pagers, old CareMobile® devices and health system-issued phones, were nearing the end of their productive life, and the time was right to implement new mobile technology — CareAware Connect™.
Workflow conditions started improving when the Kansas City, Mo.-based client, and home of the KC one Health Innovation Alliance, became a testing partner for Cerner’s evolution of mobility solutions. The alliance that TMC has held with Cerner since October 2015 has a focus on creating healthier futures for the collectively served Kansas City community and to use TMC as a “living laboratory” for Cerner solutions.
The CareAware Connect pilot is an example of what it means to be that living lab for both care-givers and patients by adding more robust features and capabilities to streamline the nursing workflow, ultimately giving nurses time back to spend at the patient bedside.
“This [bar code medication administration] ensures inappropriate treatments do not reach a patient,” said Ronald Stokes, RN, clinical nurse. “I’ve also seen instances in which utilizing bedside scanning of all medications, RNs are able to provide proof of medication administration, exact times and a chain of custody of labs when questions arise.”
Since late October 2017 at both Lakewood and Hospital Hill campuses, Truman nurses have been using the latest from Cerner’s mobility solutions including the Camera Capture™ application and bar code medication administration (BCMA) functionality, along with Bridge Breast Milk tracking. A pilot was completed in May 2017 to enable nurses to utilize the voice and text capabilities on the same devices, providing a more streamlined and connected experience for nurses. By the end of October of 2017 the texting and voice pilot expanded house-wide and is now live at both facilities, with great results.
“Cerner and Truman working together is putting this great technology at the bedside with the nurse and provider while transforming health care,” said Kassaundra Mcknight-Young, BSN, RN, senior clinical informaticist with KC one. “Before Connect, we were using five different devices, and now it’s our best bet.”
During this pilot, TMC nurses worked with Cerner IP and members of KC one to optimize the design for a seamless nursing workflow, creating learning that will be shared with other Cerner clients who want to realize the same value. When comparing a nurse’s two 12-hour shifts using Connect and the previous CareMobile device, one nurse benefitted by cutting her walking steps nearly in half — from more than 15,000 steps to around 7,800.
In addition to steps saved, isolation cart cleaning time goes from approximately 10 minutes down to one minute with CareAware Connect. Wiping down a single device is easier than an entire cart coming out of isolation because of the size of the equipment. There is also three times the amount of battery life savings with a Connect device, because users don’t have to plug it in multiple times during their shifts like they would with a desktop computer on a cart. With the time savings, end users do not take time away from their patients to go get a new battery.
"Connect positively impacted my experience with my patients by improving my abilities and response time to questions about the patient or their treatments or medications,” said Stokes. “I’ve seen time savings with Connect technology during shift reports or emergency situations where orders can be entered on the spot or lab results or medications looked up immediately instead of going back to the nursing station.”
CareAware Connect provides an efficient means of communication that enhances care coordination and eases clinical practice. This communication and access to information are crucial to drive quality outcomes. The daily number of texts and calls made are trending in the correct direction for TMC, and the objective is to continue this development.
TMC leaders plan to continue implementing enhancements as a testing companion for the solution. The goal is to roll these enhancements out to more nurses and expand to other positions like physicians and therapists over time.
“I’ve been amazed to see our most technologically challenged nurses embrace the phones,” said Brigid Toyne-Barfoot, RN, MSN, director of Medical/Surgical at Truman Medical Centers. “It’s a win all around.”
*Cerner solutions featured include CareAware Connect™ Version 3.0 running on Zebra T51 devices
For more information on CareAware Connect™ please visit the Model Experience page here.