Providence Medical Park adds new efficient patient flow system, self-rooming with RTLS

Providence Health & Services, the largest healthcare provider in Washington State, is making waiting rooms a thing of the past at the Providence Medical Park in Spokane, Wash. The Advantages RTLS patient flow system from Versus Technology, which went live this week at the clinic, allows patients to skip the waiting room altogether and go directly to an available exam room.

“This new technology provides patients greater convenience, added privacy, and faster care,” says Kathy Tarcon, chief operating officer of Providence Medical Group, the physician division of Providence Health Care in eastern Washington.

The service is the newest addition at Providence Medical Park, which opened in April 2014 as a one-stop comprehensive outpatient care facility specifically designed to provide convenient care and preventative treatments in a less expensive ambulatory settings. The 11-acre campus gives patients access to urgent care, primary care, laboratory services, outpatient surgery, and several medical and surgical specialties including cardiology, orthopedics, neurology, urology and others.

Of the 300 patients per day who visit Providence Medical Park, most will now experience an added level of efficiency when they skip the waiting room. Instead of waiting with other patients in a central area, they are immediately directed to an available exam room. This self-rooming concept is one feature of the Versus Advantages Clinic Real-time Locating System (RTLS), purchased through and installed by Versus Certified System Integrator AAtronics, LLC, of Seattle, Wash.

Thanks to the RTLS badges assigned to both patients and staff, Advantages also allows Providence Medical Park staff to know what’s happening with their patients, no matter where they are in the clinic. By monitoring locations and interactions, and through an integration with the Epic EMR, Advantages helps staff efficiently move patients through their visit by automatically displaying:

  • Which exam rooms are in use, available, or needing turnover
  • Each patients’ name, current location, reason for visit, appointment time & arrival time
  • How long patients have been waiting in the exam room, and their overall visit length
  • Whether the patient is waiting for a medical assistant or provider
  • Whether the exam, imaging, labwork, or other services have taken place

In Providence Medical Park’s outpatient surgery center, Versus Advantages OR similarly helps enhance patient flow. Glance-and-Go™ boards automatically communicate whether the patient needs to see their RN, anesthesiologist, or surgeon next, and how long they’ve spent in the OR and recovery.

In all areas, Advantages sends alerts when a patient has been alone more than 15 minutes, so that caregivers can be proactive in improving the patient’s experience.

Behind the scenes, the system automatically captures operational data, including time from arrival to provider, room turnover time, provider time with patient, exam room utilization, and many other metrics. This data, accessed through Reports Plus Analytics, empowers management at Providence Medical Park to make evidence-based process improvement decisions.

Providence Medical Park is the second Providence clinic to implement Versus Advantages. The Providence Monroe clinic in Monroe, Wash., has been using the system since October 2013.

Clinics wishing to learn more about RTLS and how it is used in the outpatient environment can download Versus’ educational white paper, “7 Ways RTLS Technology Increases Patient Volume and Improves Satisfaction” at versustech.com/clinics.

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