December 21, 2006

Session explores technological responses to workflow issues

Featured Image

Edna Wilson, left, Janice Gabbard and Shelley Moore, take part in the Technology Drill Down session.
Photo by Susan Urmy

Session explores technological responses to workflow issues

Vanderbilt University Medical Center is one of 25 hospitals helping the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation explore technological solutions for optimizing workflow on medical-surgical units.

Last week, an interdisciplinary group of 25 VUMC personnel took part in a two-day brainstorming session conducted by the American Academy of Nursing Workforce Commission. A part of the foundation's ongoing study, the session, referred to as Technology Drill Down, or TD2, focused on unit workflow from a system-wide perspective.

Data from this project will link with two other national studies in which Vanderbilt participated, “Transforming Care at the Bedside” and “A Multi-Site Study of How Medical Surgical Nurses Spend Their Time.”

It is hoped these studies will improve access to current technology as well as prompt industry to develop new technology according to user demand.

“No one provides more insight and knowledge into the day-to-day processes than those actually doing that particular work,” said Shelley Moore, M.S.N, R.N., director of shared governance implementation. “We had a terrific group whose input will make our patient care delivery even stronger in the future. They defined gaps between current and ideal environments, brainstorming possible technological solutions.”

Participants in the TD2 process included Nursing, Pharmacy, Clinical and Human Factors Engineering, Social Work, Respiratory Care, Case Management, Rehab Services, Radiology, Materials Management, IT Systems Support, Nutrition Services, Pastoral Care, Patient Affairs, and a design specialist.

The foundation's ongoing study focuses on the “demand” side of patient care delivery, using technology resources versus more people, or “supply,” to promote quality, efficiency and safety.

“The collective ideas from this diverse group were impressive,” said Moore. “Vanderbilt's participation in this is yet another example of the Medical Center's overall commitment to continually enhance our processes and quality of care as well as improvement of the work environment.”