The vision of Christiana Care Health System (CCHS) is to be a coordinated, patient-focused healthcare system, but managing and coordinating patient flow across two high-capacity hospitals had become increasingly challenging. The health system had what Rick Olivere, director of environmental services, called a "broken bed turnover process," which made it difficult to proactively manage the hospitals’ surges in capacity. CCHS had a legacy bed tracking system that was not meeting the hospitals’ demands.
"The process for cleaning beds was irreparably broken," states Olivere, indicating that beds could sit dirty for hours. "We were in a reactionary mode; we would get the bed ready for the next patient when we needed it." Olivere indicates that spikes in bed cleaning requests would begin around 2:00 p.m., and environmental services staff would not recover until nearly midnight.
As a result, patients were often boarded in the ED and the OR, causing lengthy delays, bottlenecks and an overall decrease in productivity and efficiency.
From the nurses’ perspective, the floor nurse had no control of bed turnover. As many as 12 calls and pages would transpire before a bed was ready for the next patient. "It was a mad dash for both nursing and environmental services," describes Olivere.