As winter arrives, the pressure on hospitals increases, and since the beginning of COVID-19, this has become even more accentuated. To this circumstance must be added the vast backlog of elective activity to be recovered, the NHS staff shortages, and the professional’s burnout… a situation that once again raises concerns about one of the most important challenges of the system, bed management.
According to data collected by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, from Q1 2010/11 to Q1 2019/2020 bed occupancy rates increased from 86% to 90%. In addition, during Q1 of 2020/21, which coincided with the first wave of the pandemic, the number of available beds was drastically reduced by 10,000 to comply with Infection Prevention and Control measures.
These figures will undoubtedly be even more worrying for 2021/2020 winter given the increase in admissions and longer hospital stays caused by the pandemic.
In fact, in the words of Chris Hopson, NHS Chief Executive: “Evidence clearly shows that hospitals work most safely and effectively at bed occupancy levels no higher than 85%. It is therefore concerning that today’s figures show that 82 trusts exceeded this over the past quarter with 35 of these trusts experiencing bed occupancy levels above 90% and six reaching over 95%.”
The reason for specifying an upper limit for occupancy is to allow hospital staff time to not only clean beds but also to ensure that enough are free for patients that need them. Managing this process is becoming increasingly difficult.
But why is bed management an issue?
Bed management systems involve the constant monitoring of admissions and discharges and the flow of patients within a hospital, so that accurate data is collected to identify the availability of beds in different wards. This allows bed managers to move and place patients in the wards that best suit their needs. They gather four or five times a day, but despite their best efforts, few hospitals know exactly how their beds are being used and where they are in use. Indeed, many hospitals do not have the necessary tools to effectively manage the flow of patients in a growing population with an ever-increasing demand for healthcare.
How MYSPHERA could help?
Smooth bed management in hospitals creates a better and safer environment for patients and optimizes the work of healthcare professionals, creating an efficient and successful workflow.
So, one thing that is probably essential for making a difference in bed management is real-time data on bed availability.
Our bed management solution helps to optimize the system by providing real-time applications that help staff minimize idle time:
▶ OPERATIONAL APPS FOR BED MANAGEMENT AND PATIENT FLOW
• OVERALL WARD MANAGEMENT SCREEN that shows bed id, bed status (clean, ready, in use, dirty), idle time, and the patient associated with it
• Bed Management Screen
• Cleaning and porter’s app
• Family app
▶ STRATEGY DASHBOARDS TO VISUALISED BED MANAGEMENT KPIs
Our Real-Time bed management solution positively impacts the entire hospital ecosystem, from generating much more time for nurses to dedicate to patient care, patient safety by knowing their location in real-time, reducing medical outliers, shorter patient stays, and, most importantly, better patient outcome.