VA North Texas Health Care System
New bed management system for better experience
On any given day, 350 to 400 patients are hospitalized at Dallas VA Medical Center. Managing bed availability is a huge task when considering patient discharges and those being admitted throughout the day.
VA North Texas Health Care System has been selected as the national pilot site for VA’s implementation of the Class I bed management system. Numerous upgrades and enhancements will improve the effectiveness of bed management and ultimately have a positive impact on improving Veterans’ inpatient experience. The system allows staff to monitor and track bed availability, patients pending placement and scheduled and unscheduled admissions.
The system's digital "white boards" will improve capability of staff to track patients as they move throughout the facility and identify their care needs. It also features an emergency management function that could be used to evacuate the hospital in the event of an emergency.
Dallas VA Medical Center has actively used a bed management system since it was first released in 2009 and participated in development and testing of the new Class I product. Jeff Allen, RN, serves as a clinical program manager and sees piloting the new bed management system as a definite advantage for VA North Texas and its patients.
All hospitals have some kind of bed management program. That's how you determine how many beds are empty, need cleaning or possibly closed for construction or other circumstances on the unit. "Here in Dallas, we've determined where our backlogs and jams occur regarding bed availability and have provided solutions for the best times of discharge and admission," Allen said. "Working within what is ordered for the patient, our goal is to ensure the least amount of time is spent waiting for a bed."
And getting to a bed faster allows for more rapid attention to our patients' health care needs.
Ensuring an efficient inpatient admission requires effort among various staff - from doctors discharging patients early in the day to housekeepers who clean the room and change bed linens to get it ready for the next patient.
Piloting this new bed management system will provide an opportunity to further enhance our current efforts to make the best use of our resources and ensure our patients have a positive experience from the very beginning – getting into a bed so they are one step closer to a healthier life.
Migration to the new bed management system is expected to begin in April.