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Case StudyValley Health – Winchester Medical Center              Using Automation to Improve Patient Care by              ...
Customer Spotlight • Customer Spotlight • Customer SpotlightValley HealthMeeting Joint Commission                many page...
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Valley Health – Winchester Medical Center Using Automation to Improve Patient Care by Monitoring Pain Pathways


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Helping patients manage their
pain is important to every healthcare
facility. Being able to monitor
and record each patient’s
pain level on an ongoing basis
can be challenging, as it takes a
large amount of a nurse’s time.
According to Lorraine Leake,
Director of the Transfer Center
and Communications at Valley
Health, the ongoing charting
“takes away time from the patient,
so anything we can do to
help the nurse, so they are doing
more bedside. That is our goal.”

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Valley Health – Winchester Medical Center Using Automation to Improve Patient Care by Monitoring Pain Pathways

  1. 1. Case StudyValley Health – Winchester Medical Center Using Automation to Improve Patient Care by Monitoring Pain PathwaysV alley Health is a not-for- profit organization servingthe healthcare needs of resi- ity, trying to find a way to make it easier for the nurses to monitor pain levels. Knowing that they that patient’s room, and pages the appropriate nurse with the result.dents in Virginia, West Virginia, had the 1Call Infinity, a call centerand Maryland. Valley Health pro- system that streamlines enter- Impressive Resultsvides outstanding care to their prise-wide communications by This unique integration was im-patients through a system of six providing patient room informa- plemented in November 2009.hospitals and related facilities, of- tion and on-call scheduling infor- “It is used in every inpatient area,fering patients convenient care mation, along with the GetWell- except for the critical care area. Itthat is close to home. One of the Network, which allows patients is on 335 beds out of our 411,” Lor-Valley Health locations is Win- to enter their pain level with a raine stated.chester Medical Center, a 411-bed remote control, Lorraine beganLevel II Trauma Center located in working on a plan to get the two Early results showed a 48% aver-Winchester, Virginia. Winchester systems to work together. age response rate from patients.Medical Center is a resource for400,000 residents, offering di- “For a pain scale 0 to 3 … it savedagnostic, medical, surgical, and 69,066 minutes in a two-month period,rehabilitative care, along with which turns out to be 1,151 hours.advanced critical care services inheart, neurosurgery, oncology, For a pain scale rating from 4 to 10 …trauma and neonatal care. it saved 74,988 minutes; basically 1,249 hours within a two-month period.”A Unique ApproachHelping patients manage their Lorraine presented her ideas on A time study revealed that check-pain is important to every health- merging the data in these systems ing on a patient takes a nurse 9care facility. Being able to moni- to both 1Call and GetWellNet- minutes. Susan Clark, RN Clini-tor and record each patient’s work. The two companies then cal Manager for the Float Pool atpain level on an ongoing basis worked together to integrate the Valley Health, commented, “Forcan be challenging, as it takes a two systems. a pain scale of 0 to 3, when thelarge amount of a nurse’s time. nurse doesn’t have to do any- How the Pain Pathway thing since the patient’s pain isAccording to Lorraine Leake, Process Works being controlled, it saved 69,066Director of the Transfer Center To start the pain pathway process, minutes in a two-month period,and Communications at Valley a nurse scans a medication given which turns out to be 1,151 hours.Health, the ongoing charting to a patient. Fifty minutes later, For a pain scale rating from 4 to“takes away time from the pa- the patient is asked, using the 10, where the nurse would havetient, so anything we can do to GetWellNetwork on their televi- to do something, it saved 74,988help the nurse, so they are doing sion, to rate their current pain lev- minutes; basically 1,249 hoursmore bedside. That is our goal.” el on a scale of 0 (low) to 10 (high). within a two-month period.” The result is sent through theIntegrating Two Systems GetWellNetwork to 1Call’s On-CallLorraine looked at the various Scheduling module, which keepssystems available in their facil- track of the nurse responsible for continued…
  2. 2. Customer Spotlight • Customer Spotlight • Customer SpotlightValley HealthMeeting Joint Commission many pages that they receive, the nurses when patients have fin-Standards benefits for the nurses make it a ished watching a video, or com-During a recent visit, the Joint very worthwhile process. “They pleted educational materialsCommission staff was impressed don’t have to go to the patient’s about a particular medication, forwith how the pain pathway was room, then get the medications, example.set up at Valley Health. and then go back again. They are there one time, and that saves “We are trying to improve our pa-Joint Commission would like all them a lot of steps,” said Lorraine. tient satisfaction scores, our HCAPhealthcare facilities to have 100% scores,” Susan commented.documentation of pain scores. Fine-Tuning the ProcessValley Health’s scores were “origi- At first, Valley Health wasn’t About 1Callnally around 59%, and went up to planning to use this system in For over 35 years, AMTELCO has89% in documentation with the the Pediatrics department, be- been a leading provider of en-pain pathway. The scores have cause they were worried the kids hanced communications innova-gone up to 92% with this system wouldn’t understand it, or think it tions. The 1Call Division of AM-in place,” according to Lorraine. was a game. The Pediatric nurses, TELCO is a leader in developing on the other hand, wanted to healthcare-specific applicationsValley Health quickly found out have this available for their pa- that are being used by hundredswhat an effective process this tients. When it was implemented, of hospitals and healthcare orga-was. When the schedules for the it worked very well. nizations worldwide. The primarynurses covering the patient rooms focus for 1Call and AMTELCO is toweren’t copied by several depart- RED ALERT Integration design applications that offer cut-ments, the scores went down, giv- Valley Health also uses the 1Call ting-edge technology to reduceing them a way to prove that the RED ALERT notification system. labor costs, eliminate errors, andpain pathway process is working. “We are sending reminders out increase efficiency. through RED ALERT, every soBenefits of the Integration many hours, reminding the nurs- About GetWellNetworkEven though the process is auto- es ‘to chart your medications,’” GetWellNetwork entertains,mated, Valley Health still knows Lorraine said. Susan added, “That educates, and empowers pa-when something isn’t function- has brought up scores on some of tients throughout the patienting exactly as they would expect the floors that are very busy and journey using the bedside TVit to. If a patient doesn’t respond always turning over beds and pa- in the hospital, mobile devices,to the GetWellNetwork pain level tients.” Web or Cable TV at home. Thisrequest, perhaps because their patient-centered approach im-television is off, or the patient was Future Plans proves both satisfaction and out-asleep, the nurse receives a page This process is currently used with comes for patients and hospitals.that the patient did not respond the alphanumeric pagers that the GetWellNetwork is recognizedso the nurse can go check up on nurses carry, “but our system is by KLAS® as the Interactive Pa-that patient. set up to send a page to a Black- tient Systems category leader Berry® or a cell phone, or any de- and exclusively endorsed by theAlthough there were mixed reac- vice,” Lorraine stated. American Hospital Association.tions to this new process among Visit nurses, with some of them Also in the future, Valley Healthloving it, and some not liking the plans to use this process to page (800)225-6035 • • 4800 Curtin Drive • McFarland, WI 53558 (608)838-4194 • FAX (608)838-8367 April 2011