4 Ways You Can Improve Oncology Care Team Collaboration with RTLS

By Jeanne Kraimer, Marketing Manager, Midmark Medical
February 28, 2019

When we think about oncology care, our minds typically go to the cancer patient. They endure enormous emotional and physical stress during their treatments. Being a cancer survivor is truly the accomplishment of a lifetime.

However, it’s also important to think about the other side of the equation–the oncology care team. Each day, oncology caregivers feel tremendous pressure to care for as many patients as possible. It takes immense mental strength to work with cancer patients and their families, who experience a full spectrum of emotions during treatment. Plus, patient visits are filled with complexity: multiple appointments with multiple specialists. There’s a lot to keep straight.

Implementing a real-time locating system (RTLS) not only helps provide a better patient experience, it also promotes a better provider and care team experience. Here are four ways RTLS helps improve oncology care team collaboration:

1. RTLS helps caregivers manage and optimize workflow

With the large volume of patients that oncology caregivers see each day, it’s challenging to keep track of which stage of care each patient is in during their visit. RTLS acts as a digital blueprint of the cancer center, showing where patients are, how long they’ve been waiting, which provider they’re seeing and other useful information.

With this data at their fingertips, oncology caregivers can spend less time performing non-value-added activities like searching for colleagues, making phone calls and trying to stay current on which patient is where.

Using RTLS, you can automate and improve communication between staff, allowing them to focus on what matters—caring for patients. Easing staff workload helps prevent burnout and keeps your staff engaged.

2. RTLS collects data for process improvement

RTLS not only provides caregivers in-the-moment awareness, it also collects data that can be used for analysis and process improvement.

Patient care milestones like wait time, “door-to-doctor” time, exam or treatment duration and overall length of stay can be collected for any given time frame or for any number of variables, giving administrators access to a multitude of insights to improve workflow and the delivery of care.

With RTLS data you can:

  • Benchmark treatment times
  • Determine where additional resources may be needed
  • Determine when and where additional patients can be added to the schedule

3. RTLS facilitates better communication with pharmacy

Communicating with the pharmacy is critical to keeping patient visits moving efficiently. A breakdown in communication can result in wasted medication, longer patient wait times and unnecessary frustration among care team members.

Mixing medication is a precise, time-sensitive process. With the real-time communication that RTLS provides, nurses can notify the pharmacy that a patient is ready for chemotherapy at the push of a button, ensuring that medications are mixed at the right time.

Streamlining communication in this manner allows pharmacists to better focus on their work, which requires steady concentration. It also means fewer steps for nurses, who no longer have to keep checking on medication status.

4. RTLS helps you find family members when you need them

Being aware of who the patient’s family is, and where they are, is important in oncology care, especially pediatric oncology. Because visits are lengthy, family members may step out for a bathroom break or a cup of coffee. Not being able to find family members can add delays to a patient’s visit.

By giving RTLS badges to the patient’s family and associating the badges with the patient, staff and providers can know at a glance where in the clinic family members are located. Searching for the patient’s family is no longer necessary, which saves caregivers steps and time.

Want to learn more?

Stay tuned for our forthcoming eBook, “7 Benefits of RTLS for Cancer Care,” for more insights on how Midmark RTLS transforms the oncology care experience.