Home to Lancaster General Hospital’s innovation unit, 4 Lime is ushering in a new era of patient safety and comfort.
The 42-bed orthopedic wing has implemented a new nurse-call system, an interactive patient-education platform, communication monitors, and vital sign equipment that automatically populate to electronic health records.
“The innovation unit on 4 Lime is the beginning of transforming the care experience for staff and patients,” says Valerie Adams, director of nursing. “From the clinicians’ point of view, it will help us improve communication and efficiencies in the unit. For the patient, it will improve their experience and engage them in a new way.”
4 Lime is currently piloting a new iPhone-based application, LGH Mobile, which replaces Spectralink. Nurses on the unit now carry Wi-Fi-enabled smartphones with applications to make calls and securely text other LGH Mobile users, who can immediately see who is assigned to each patient and share pertinent, patient-specific information.
Additional features will be rolled out over time, including the availability of lab results and telemetry monitoring. LGH Mobile eventually will be implemented across all LGH licensed facilities.
Innovation is a hallmark of the Frederick Building expansion, which will be completed in 2018.
By the end of March, the hospital’s inpatient rooms will feature the new call bell system, with full integration of advanced features by the end of 2018. The fully integrated system, already in use on 4 Lime, allows patients to signal whether they need help with pain, toileting or water, enabling the right staff member to receive the request the first time.
The system also allows physicians to notify a nurse when they are rounding on a patient, which decreases the time spent searching for team members and gives the team more time at the patient’s bedside.
Meanwhile, the interactive patient-education console links a tablet to an in-room TV. Patients can view their expected discharge date, review assigned education videos, complete daily goals for their hospital stay, and utilize on-demand interpretation services. The patient also can see the names and photos of treatment team members and access entertainment options.
An Epic communication bedside monitor located above the patient further enhances communication for caregivers. Essential safety information for clinicians is now displayed through icons and text to ensure that staff is aware of the individual needs of a patient (i.e. an ear symbol for a hard-of-hearing patient).
At the start of the project, multidisciplinary groups collaborated to develop new concepts where technology and design could enhance the patient and staff experience. Over the last two years, these new technologies were designed into new workflows with the purpose of improving patient care and the overall inpatient experience. These proposed workflows were simulated in a mocked-up nursing unit at BURLE before the adoption and evaluation on the innovation unit.
The innovations will begin to be installed hospital-wide in mid-2018, unit by unit.