4 Ways to Help Lighten Nurse Workload with RTLS

By Kim Barnhardt, MHA, MBA, BS, RN, CPSO
Manager, Clinical Consulting and Education, Midmark RTLS
5/13/2020

Before COVID-19, 63% of hospital nurses reported that they had experienced the effects of burnout. Now, they’re under a great deal more pressure than ever before.

Burnout can lead to staffing shortages, medical errors, staff turnover, poor engagement… Health systems can’t expect nursing staff to successfully manage their daily workloads without effective tools.

Combatting Burnout: How RTLS can Help

Tackling the problem of nurse burnout requires that health systems take a careful look at all the reasons why it’s a problem in the first place. There’s no single “magic bullet” solution to burnout; such a multi-faceted problem must be confronted with a multi-solution approach. 

A real-time locating system (RTLS) is one such approach that facilitates better caregiver communication. With RTLS, caregivers can ease and even eliminate some of the tedious tasks that add to their workloads. 

The small steps you take to make your caregivers’ day easier will add up in the long run—and your nurses will thank you. 

Here are 4 simple ways you can lighten your nursing staff’s workload and help them be more productive with RTLS: 

  1. Eliminate extra steps and phone calls from your shift. With RTLS, you can glance at your workstation computer and see immediately where colleagues, patients and valuable equipment are located. Searching for or calling them is no longer necessary. This simple benefit is one of the most powerful features of RTLS to streamline communication.
  2. Contain the spread of infectious diseases with contact tracing. Now more than ever, preventing the spread of infectious diseases is critical to keeping patients and staff safe and healthy. With RTLS, identifying if people or equipment have been exposed to contagions takes minutes – simply run a report to understand who, when, where and the degree of exposure.
  3. Focus immediately on the patient with automated call cancellation. When a patient calls, a caregiver’s top priority is to attend to their needs. With RTLS, a nurse wearing a badge can enter the patient room and  clear the call automatically. Pressing the call cancellation button is no longer necessary—one less thing for a nurse to remember (and one less touchpoint for the spread of germs) when attending to a patient.
  4. Call for help—anytime, anywhere. If a caregiver feels threatened by a patient or simply needs assistance, they can press the button on their RTLS badge to call for help. Button press alerts go to nearby workstations and the security station, as well as to mobile phones, informing other staff of their colleague’s location so they can respond quickly and effectively

Combined with other tools and approaches to support nurses, RTLS can play an important role in helping health systems combat nurse burnout, especially in this time of added stress and pressure. 

To learn more ways that RTLS can boost productivity, download our eBook 12 Reasons Why RTLS Makes Sense for Healthcare.