Community Hospital Improves Patient Wait Times & Patient Satisfaction
- A Savance EIOBoard Client Case Study
"We now have the ability to focus in on patient wait times. We measure them all the time and use lean practices to constantly improve."
Jennifer Hagerty, Patient Relations Director
Founded in 1926, Cameron Memorial Hospital is a 25-bed Critical Access general community hospital located in Angola, Indiana. Cameron Memorial is a non-profit facility with a commitment to providing exceptional service and the safest, highest quality care for all patients.
A move to a new facility brought new challenges for the hospital. "Our new hospital layout does not have individual outpatient waiting rooms, so we needed something to help with patient tracking," says Michelle Berndt, Customer Service Liaison at Cameron Memorial. Patient Relations Director Jennifer Hagerty explains: "Our biggest challenge was how to get people to the right department and be able to virtually see them, even if we couldn't lay our eyes on them."
"Our new hospital layout does not have individual outpatient waiting rooms, so we needed something to help with patient tracking."
Cameron Memorial Hospital had previously used a patient tracking system designed by one of its IT employees. "We outgrew the home grown system because it only supported one department," says Jennifery Hagerty. Michelle Berndt adds that although it was a good system, it was difficult for IT to keep up with.
To solve the challenges the hospital faced with its building expansion and general growth, Cameron Memorial Hospital searched for patient tracking solutions on the Internet. They were looking for an easy-to-use solution that would integrate with the hospital's existing pagers to allow staff to easily communicate with patients. "Our criteria for the new solution also included the ability to have the patient tracking system customized for us," says Jennifer Hagerty. "The system also needed to be user friendly, especially since we'd have about a hundred different people touching it."
In addition to Savance's patient tracking system, Cameron Memorial Hospital also considered PatientTrak. "I don't remember the specifics of the limitations, but I do remember they couldn't integrate with our pagers," Jennifer Hagerty explains.
"The system also needed to be user friendly, especially since we'd have about a hundred different people touching it."
As it turned out, the Savance Patient Tracking solution met all of the Cameron Memorial's main criteria. "The ease-of-use and customization abilities were both there," says Jennifer Hagerty. "It also integrated with our pagers, which was huge. Overall, I feel like it's a really good value."
The patient experience and overall patient satisfaction had been a focus of improvement for Cameron for a long time, and the selection of the Savance system was a direct result of that commitment.
Solution & Implementation
The implementation of the new patient tracking system went smoothly. "The initial setup came with minimal issues," says Jennifer Hagerty. "Our only real challenge has been learning how to grow with the system." For instance, expanding to various departments has required Cameron Memorial to configure department-specific patient flows and set up the system to optimize that department’s patient tracking needs and overall workflow.
"I really appreciate the level of customer service that Savance provides. The support team has always made themselves available."
Overall, the Savance Patient Tracking system used by Cameron is simple, straightforward, and effective. It follows a patient from the time they walk through the doors and until they leave. For instance, Cameron uses the system to capture a physical description as a person walks through the door. This description will then be used throughout the patient's visit. Restaurant-style pagers integrated into the software makes communication with patients easy.
Cameron Memorial Hospital has been using the Savance system since 2014, and the hospital is happy with both the product and the company behind it. "I really appreciate the level of customer service that Savance provides," says Jennifer Hagerty. "The support team has always made themselves available. They are always kind and helpful, and want to find a resolution to anything we bring them." Hagerty also brings up the system's usability. "We can go in and make changes on our own without having to call and wait. With many of the systems we use, we can't do that."
"Savance was able to deliver an end-to-end patient tracking system from the time the patient is scheduled to when they enter the building to when they visit each department until they leave.
"Cameron came to us with a need to track a high volume of patients going to different departments throughout their large campus,” Steve Bardocz from Savance explains. “They wanted something similar to what they used internally, but wanted to find something a little more commercialized and robust. Communication with patients and staff was also critical, and our ability to integrate with their paging system was icing on the cake.” Bardocz goes on to explain, “Savance was able to deliver an end-to-end patient tracking system from the time the patient is scheduled to when they enter the building to when they visit each department until they leave. Each step is tracked in real-time, and the information is then used to measure and improve on the hospital's overall efficiency and performance."
Results & Benefits
Since implementing the Savance patient tracking and flow system in 2014, Cameron Memorial Hospital has grown to rely on it for its day-to-day operations. "We literally could not get patients checked in and to their destination without the Savance Patient Tracking system," says Jennifer Hagerty. "We use it as an internal communications tool as well. In the old days, we used to have to pick up the phone and call people; now, instead, we communicate internally with EIOBoard."
One of the biggest benefits of the Savance system is to be able to know where patients are at all times. "Being able to view real-time patient transitioning, along with notes of communication, is what I consider the most important outcome so far," says Michelle Berndt.
"We literally could not get patients checked in and to their destination without the Savance Patient Tracking system."
Another benefit is the ability to track wait times. "We now have the ability to focus in on patient wait times," says Jennifer Hagerty. "We measure them all the time and use lean practices to constantly improve. We actually put them up on boards and hold ourselves accountable."
The fact that the average wait time is down is an important direct result of the Savance Patient Tracking system. "Wait times are definitely down," says Jennifer Hagerty. "We're able to address wait times right away, and trend them over time. From where we started to right now, patient wait times are much better."
"We're able to address wait times right away, and trend them over time. From where we started to right now, patient wait times are much better."
Hagerty also mentions improved patient satisfaction as another result of using the Savance system. "Even though not all the patients probably realize it, it improves patient satisfaction. Our outpatient throughput is more efficient. Not just the decreased wait times, but the entire flow."
Other areas of improvement are staff to staff communication and staff efficiency. "Staff can see that they have multiple services," says Jennifer Hagery. "Using the color coding, they can see things just at a glance, making them much more efficient."
Cameron Memorial Hospital has long served as a reference for other organizations in the medical field considering Savance, and we look forward to a long continued relationship. When asked to summarize Cameron Memorial's experience with Savance, Jennifer Hagerty says: "Savance EIOBoard has been a successful program in our outpatient throughput process in our hospital because it combines user-friendly technology with reliable communication. We utilize the communication integration for internal notifications and for alerting our patients. The Savance system helps identify issues while the patient is still here, as well as trends opportunities for improvement in areas where bottlenecks can occur. The Savance team is easy to work with. They are very responsive; provide a product that is easily customizable; and offer excellent support long after the implementation is complete. Without any reservation, I would recommend Savance and the Savance EIOBoard software."