Wednesday, April 16, 2014

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Crouse introduces patient tracking system

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Crouse introduces patient tracking system
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If you've ever had to wait for a loved one to get out of surgery, you know how long and nerve-wracking it can be. But as our Katie Gibas reports, Crouse Hospital has introduced a computerized system to keep track of your patient.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Noelle Corrado has spent hours in hospital waiting rooms on a number of occasions as she waits for a family member to emerge from surgery.

"Typically, when we're waiting, we know he's here. We know he's going to be wheeled down at some point. And we're kind of usually looking and craning our heads and not wanting to typically bother the people that are at the front desk, so this was nice to kind of have an idea of where he's at,” said Noelle Corrado, Baldwinsville Resident.

She's talking about the new patient tracking system at Crouse Hospital. Each patient is assigned a unique number only given to family members. In the waiting room, there's a screen that displays each patient number, color coded based on the patient's location: blue for the operating room, green if their surgery has started, and pink if they're in recovery.

"It's great. It gives you a sense of comfort knowing where he's at,” said Corrado.

"Prior to implementing this technology, they'd go and ask the volunteer that's monitoring the surgical waiting area, and then she'll make a phone call, get to the operating room, talk to the physician and then get back to the family member. This is more real time, and it's just more reassuring for the family. They feel like they have a little more control over how often they want to check on the progress,” said Jill Hauswirth, Crouse Hospital Surgical Services Director.

The color coded monitors are also in the Operating Room for clinical staff to monitor.

"It requires each of the providers at every step of the way to enter a time stamp into the computer. And then that changes the color,” said Hauswirth.

"The staff like it because internally, it helps us communicate to each other,” said Hauswirth.

Right now, the patient tracking system is really in its most basic form, but there are discussion going on about how to increase its functionality and expand to other parts of the hospital.

"Any procedural area where the process is in defined stages and that you can enter a time, and that tracks the patient's progress. So, it would certainly be beneficial to any procedural area,” said Hauswirth.

The system has been in place for about two months.

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