Having the right number and mix of nursing staff is important in delivering quality patient care. But this isn’t a new challenge. As a registered nurse, I saw this in my 15 years of direct patient care. And now as a Customer Solutions Specialist at Intelligent InSites, I continue to see this when onsite with our hospital customers.
According to the American Nurses Association, factors that should influence nurse staffing needs: patient complexity, acuity, or stability; number of admissions, discharges, and transfers; professional nursing and other staff skill level and expertise; physical space and layout of the nursing unit; and availability of or proximity to technological support or other resources. However, with an anticipated 1.2 million vacancies opening up for registered nurses between 2014 and 2022 – will nurses continue to be asked to do more with less?
What is different today, from my perspective, is that there are greater tools available to help minimize non-value-added time so nurses can spend greater portions of their shift focused on direct patient care.
Location-sensing technology, such as RTLS, offers great benefits:
Identify the location of critical equipment with a quick glance on a map
Eliminate the manual process of monitoring the temperature of refrigerators, freezers or warming cabinets and redirect that time to patient care
Easily request assistance if help is needed with a simple button press, improving safety
Quickly locate needed team members or providers – and always know who was the last team member to have contact with the patient
I see the way care teams can use this technology to take back control of their day. But it is when I hear direct feedback from our customers that it really sinks in that today’s nurses don’t HAVE to do more with less. One of our largest customers has noted how RTLS-enabled operational intelligence has allowed them to decrease nursing’s non-value added time by as much as 75 percent. “That’s more time they can spend giving care to patients, which is what they enjoy the most. And we know that happy nurses make happy patients.”
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