How to Unlock Hidden Capacity in your Oncology Clinic

By Jeanne Kraimer, Marketing Manager, Midmark Medical
March 19, 2019

 

In cancer care, making the most of your resources is crucial. On a daily basis, administrators face the puzzle of how to optimize clinical workflow—the utilization of staff, equipment and clinical spaces—to provide exceptional care to as many patients as possible.

When it comes to space utilization, staff and providers often feel there aren’t enough rooms or infusion chairs because they are always occupied or unavailable. Physically expanding the cancer center seems to be the logical solution, but in reality, your center may have unused capacity, and you may not even be aware of it.

Yes, you read that right. From exam rooms to infusion chairs, your care locations are likely used less efficiently than they could be. But how can you uncover this hidden potential to care for more patients and set goals to achieve better workflow optimization? To start, you need to clearly understand how your resources are currently used.

Real-Time Situational Awareness

Using a real-time locating system (RTLS) is an excellent way to understand cancer center operations. RTLS gives real-time visibility into the entire clinic—so staff can see where teammates and patients are, how long they’ve been waiting, who has seen the patient and who may need to see them next.

To begin to better understand clinical space utilization, your staff and providers can use RTLS to answer two simple, yet critical questions for better situational awareness:

“Which exam rooms or infusion chairs are available?”
and
“Which exam rooms or infusion chairs are ready for turnover?”

 

Gathering Data for Process Improvement

RTLS provides more than real-time awareness. Data can be collected and analyzed in retrospect via reports, so that administrators can understand patterns and identify potential process bottlenecks. This data is key in answering the current state of clinical capacity question:

“Which areas of the clinic are under- or over-utilized?”

RTLS reports help you benchmark not only data about clinical spaces, but staff utilization, patient wait times and several other useful metrics. These data can be helpful for scheduling decisions. And because RTLS is continually collecting data, measuring progress toward improvement is easy and accurate.

Want to learn more?

Download our eBook, “7 Benefits of RTLS for Cancer Care,” for more insights on how Midmark RTLS can help you unlock hidden capacity and design a better oncology care experience.