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Quality Improvement Promising Practices from the Field

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Lehigh Valley Hosptial

Improving Patient Flow through TeleTracking Technology

TeleTracking is a bed tracking technology that allows a patient logistics coordinator to monitor all hospital beds from a central command center in order to maximize patient flow and reduce patient wait times in the emergency department (ED) as well as other locations throughout the hospital. The system requires hospital workers such as housekeeping and clinical staff members to “dial in” to the command center by phone the status of patients and bed availability.

The bed tracking component of the system works in tandem with a patient transport tracking system. A computer records this information on a bed board which allows various teams to monitor bed capacity and patient locations in order to make informed decisions about the hospital’s census based on data.

The purpose of TeleTracking is to streamline bed turnover, improve throughput, and provide a clear picture of the hospital’s capacity in real time. In using the software, Lehigh Valley Hospital’s goal is to ensure that both “bed turnover”—the time a bed is vacated to the time it is cleaned, and “pull times”—the time between a patient being admitted to the hospital and reaching a bed—is less than 60 minutes.