Christus St. Frances Cabrini Hospital
A CLEAR ADVANTAGE
Crothall Healthcare Technology Solutions has crafted a unique role in medical device support that saves cost while improving patient safety. Crothall’s EquipCONNECT program at CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini Hospital, a 281-bed facility admitting 12,000 patients in central Louisiana annually, has transformed into a model of time and resource efficiency while improving patient outcomes.
CHRISTUS partnered with Crothall to make equipment reliably clean and available to clinical teams, reducing hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) and increasing time spent on patient care.
"Crothall made an investment in CHRISTUS so we could give our nurses and technicians more time to focus on patient care,” said Dina Dent, Executive Nursing Director at St. Frances Cabrini Hospital. “It was the best kind of risk, one we were all confident in, and everyone is benefitting."
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
EquipCONNECT ensures devices are properly placed into service. Nurse frustration is high when equipment is not available, working properly or disinfected correctly. EquipCONNECT is a hands-on human interface system that tracks, repairs and disinfects equipment prior to returning to use. Improving nurse satisfaction affects the Patient experience - HCAHPS data shows that nurse relationship is the driving factor behind a Patient’s Overall Ratings of the hospital. Efficient tracking cuts time with equipment out of service and eliminates the need for rentals.
Unable to Locate (UTL) equipment was a major challenge at St. Frances Cabrini Hospital. The high UTL rates delayed equipment maintenance and created shortages that drove nurses to track down or rent replacements before Crothall instituted EquipCONNECT in May 2015. When nurses are not at the bedside the quality of care suffers. “There was a lot of wasted time and money looking for or exchanging equipment,” said Julie Saenz, Senior Director of Client Services for Crothall. “It took away from everyone – nurses and technical staff – and things weren’t ready for use much of the time.”
The first step for the EquipCONNECT system was to optimize departmental structure. Needs had to be properly identified prior to creating the program. Managers collaborated directly with the materials department to ensure nurses’ equipment needs were met throughout the entire hospital, instead of inefficient distribution points on each floor.
A Real Time Location System (RTLS) was added to EquipCONNECT at CHRISTUS. Through infrared tracking of equipment requiring maintenance and sanitation Crothall HTS staff was able to log the location, transit and cleaning status for hospital staff and records. The clarity of the system extends to personnel - a biomedical technician from Crothall is tasked with equipment checks and clearance. Then he coordinates with a CHRISTUS specialist to smooth asset transitions and care.
SUCCESS AND THEN SOME…
A 16% drop in the HAI rate occurred during the first 6 months of EquipCONNECT. Every piece of equipment was tracked and disinfecting protocols conducted and verified before returning to use. As hand contact is the primary transmission of bacteria, this disinfecting protocol breaks the chain of contamination and reduces HAIs, creating a safer environment for Patients and Staff.
Unable to locate equipment (UTLs) dropped with EquipCONNECT. UTLs decreased significantly as soon as the system was in place. RTLS even impacted capital investment for replacement – Crothall was able to locate and retrieve $20,000 worth of equipment that was about to leave the facility.
St. Frances Cabrini Hospital’s staff saved more than 200 hours per week. Previously CHRISTUS staff spent more than $180,000 annually searching, cleaning and locating equipment by everyone from CNA to RN. The hospital also saved an estimated $20,000 in annual rental charges.
“The investment in RTLS is offset in labor alone during the first year,” said Ned Bowen, Regional Vice President of Crothall Healthcare. “Savings for St. Francis Cabrini Hospital from the decrease of UTLs and HAIs are on top of that.”
“The part we didn’t count on initially may be the most important,” continued Bowen. “Everyone at St. Frances Cabrini has been expressing their happiness and gratitude at the time they can spend on patient care now.”
“The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Saenz. “The program made a big impact and the nurses are relieved to be confident the equipment is clean and ready.”
For more information on CHRISTUS St. Francis Cabrini Hospital, click the link below.