Just like air traffic control systems help air traffic controllers to efficiently handle the air traffic in an airport, clinical logistics systems help clinicians to efficiently handle the work and patient flow in a hospital.
Most hospitals face multiple challenges involved in treating more and more patients using the same – or fewer – resources, while required to maintain the same high level of quality in patient care. Clinical logistics systems enable hospitals to improve patient throughput and work environment and to increase patient safety through efficient real-time coordination and communication.
Clinical Logistics systems provide healthcare professionals in all hospital departments with the information they need to enable them to manage the patient flow effectively.
Key Features of a Clinical Logistics System
A Clinical Logistics System (CLS) typically provides the following clinical and technological features:
- Overview – A CLS provides healthcare staff with a real-time overview of current status of the work and patient flow in a clinical department and across departments in the entire hospital
- Coordination – A CLS helps clinicians to coordinate patient flows inside and across hospital departments by e.g. transferring patients between departments.
- Communication – A CLS helps clinicians to communicate by messaging, voice, and text.
- Status Integration – A CLS helps clinicians to get a complete up-to-date overview of the treatment and care of patients, independent of the location of this treatment in other departments.
- Resource and Personnel Management – A CLS helps clinicians to monitor, manage, and efficiently utilize core resources such as staff, equipment, rooms, and beds.
- Realtime & Event-based Architecture – Efficient distribution of clinical events in a hospital-wide installation is crucial for the successful working of a CLS system. This is achieved by an even-based infrastructure that makes sure that clinical events (e.g. status updates) are distributed in real time to all relevant displays and devices.
- Integration Engine – A CLS should provide an overview of the status of all clinical work in the department and hospital. This require that a CLS can pick up relevant status information from other clinical systems like the EMR, PAS, LAB, and RIS systems.
- Efficient Information Access – In a life- and time-critical environment such as an A&E department, access to information and communication should happen instantly. The CLS overview, communication, coordination, and resource management should be easy accessible for fast and efficient interaction. This requires support for public displays, mobile devices, and very efficient user interfaces.
- Scalable – Clinical logistics scale from providing a good overview of a few operating rooms, to the total overview of an entire hospital. A CLS system should hence be designed to be very scalable.
INSIGHT Clinical Logistics gives users a full overview of key information about patients, staff, facilities, treatment plans and work assignments, as well as what is happening elsewhere in the hospital. All this information – and much more – is easily accessible to all the hospital staff involved, and is updated in real time. Large interactive public displays placed at strategic locations provide a complete overview while smaller displays provide information in offices, coffee rooms, paient wards, laboratories, etc.
Information and status updates are available on specifically designed web-based apps on smartphones and tablets like iPhones and iPads. This allows clinicians to access information while moving around. Moreover, automatic text messages allow healthcare professionals to be notified on significant status changes for their patients. INSIGHT Clinical Logistics integrates to indoor location tracking systems, which improves coordination and efficient access to patients, staff and resources.
INSIGHT Clinical Logistics is already in use in most Danish hospitals. Independent studies have reported benefits that include increased utilization of operating rooms, fewer cancellations and delays of operations, increased productivity and patient flow in Accident & Emergency (A&E) departments, and an improved work environments with fewer interruptions and stress.