Manual Processes to Bed
Using MEDITECH's Bed Board and Forward Advantage's
Bed Stat, Centura Health improves staff communication
while making patients more comfortable in less time.
Until recently, nurses at Centura Health (Englewood,
CO) were required to manually track down housekeeping to
ensure that rooms were being cleaned in a timely manner.
It wasn't until the organization began searching for a
bed management solution that Centura I.T. leadership
discovered they could have this functionality at no cost,
simply by downloading an enhancement to their Client/Server
5.5 MEDITECH system. Only a short time after deploying
this feature, Centura's staff need nothing more than a
phone, pager, and their current I.T. system to
effectively manage patient beds.
"Even though automated bed management is still
fairly new to us, we've already been able to decrease the
time it takes us to place patients in beds, by 28%. That
is quite a good improvement," says Amy Feaster, vice
president of information technology at Centura. "In
addition, our nurses have seen an increase in their own
productivity, thanks to a system which makes bed status
much more visible, and easier to track than ever before."
A Clean, Automated Process
By implementing a paging system between the Bed Board and
Forward Advantage's Bed Stat functionality, housekeeping
personnel at Centura are quickly notified when rooms are
ready to be cleaned. Once in the dirty room, housekeeping
then uses the phone to communicate bed location, employee
number, and bed status--all through voice prompts--into a
centralized process screen in Bed Board.
"Bed Board shows us what beds are occupied or dirty,
what beds are clean, and what beds are in process of
being cleaned," says Manuela Metzler, staffing
office manager at Centura. "We've found that patient
placement is much easier and faster, which is nice for
our staff, and even nicer for patients who want to be
All information is captured by Bed Stat and transferred
directly to Bed Board, providing Admissions and other
departments with immediate access to accurate bed
"Our nurses no longer have to track down
housekeeping to check the status of a room," says
Joyce Touchton, project manager of I.T. at Centura.
"When a room is in the process of being cleaned, one
phone call changes its status in the Bed Board to 'in
process.' When the housekeeper is done, she calls again
to update the status to 'cleaned.' It saves us time while
making our jobs easier and the patients happier."
By using a familiar telephone interface for communication,
Bed Stat also eliminates the need for extensive training
and system access for the housekeeping staff. "Bed
Stat is a change of routine for our housekeepers, but
fortunately, it is very easy to learn and does not
require any special training," says Metzler.
Just as important, the communication between the
clinicians and housekeeping staff has improved
significantly. "Since the housekeeping staff updates
the Bed Board with bed availability information via phone,"
says Touchton. "When nurses need to know the
availability of a bed, they can view one screen and have
all the information right there in front of them."
A Few of Clinicians' Favorite Things
To assist clinicians in bed management, a user-defined
process screen offers a variety of displays for
streamlining functions. Centura's nurses have already
chosen a few favorites that help with their everyday
"One of our favorite attributes is the ability to
identify specialized characteristics of each bed--if it's
close to the nurse station, air-enabled, or equipped with
telemonitoring," says Touchton. "This helps us
to place patients in the most appropriate bed, right from
Bed Board, without having to memorize the details of
every bed location ourselves."
Another popular feature is the Transport, which logs and
tracks patient mobility in the hospital. "The
customized screens allow for additional information on
the patient as well," says Touchton. "We can
see more about the patient than just the diagnosis. For
example, we don't simply know that the patient has
pneumonia, we also know the specific symptoms that the
patient is experiencing. This information makes it much
simpler for us to accommodate each patient's unique needs."
Metzler adds that the importance of Bed Board and Bed
Stat is not only improving bed placement, but also
folding even more information into Centura's MEDITECH
system. "This is just one part of our overall
efforts to maximize our I.T. utilization," she says.
"The fact is, the more complete our medical record
is, the better we can treat our patients over the course
of their lives."