AUTOMATED PATIENT ASSIGNMENTS

USING INTELLIGENT SOFTWARE TO CREATE BALANCED AND MORE EQUITABLE WORKLOADS FOR STAFF NURSES

Patient assignments can bedevil even the most experienced charge nurse or nurse manager.

Nurse schedules are constantly changing, plus patients — each with their own set of complications  — regularly move in and out of the hospital. Keeping track of everything can be challenging.

Scheduling software certainly helps.

But it doesn’t address the one area that often causes the most problems for staff nurses — fair and equitable workloads.

Let’s face it. Nobody likes it when their shift is significantly harder than others. It creates resentment and can quickly lead to burnout if it regularly occurs. And yet, assigning patients manually can lend itself to imbalances — for the simple reason that it’s very difficult to factor in a number of complex and different variables, while still providing an equitable share of the workload and delivering quality care.

The truth is — manually assigning patients is difficult.

There has to be a better way.

SOFTWARE THAT CREATES BETTER PATIENT ASSIGNMENTS

  • What if sophisticated software could automatically create balanced workloads for nurses?
  • What if that same software used a rules-based “engine” that allowed it to handle complex combinations of patient variables — such as patient acuity, geography, continuity of care and other factors — to expertly match the right nurse with the right patient?
  • What if patient assignments took just minutes to complete and the list was then distributed to other providers — quickly and easily.
  • What if the software was easy to integrate with all of the major scheduling programs and EHRs, plus it was 100% compliant and secure?
  • What if the company that developed it had more than 18 years of healthcare technology experience and has worked closely with numerous IT departments in hospitals throughout the country?

ASSIGN for Nurses

ASSIGN for Nurses from MedAptus is a sophisticated, rules-based software program for patient assignments that is faster, easier, safer and more fair than assigning patients manually.

It automatically pulls the nurse schedules and the patient census, then automatically and intelligently applies customizable protocols to match the right patient with the right nurse for every shift. The result from these complex computations is a far more balanced and equitable workload — one that takes into account all of the various factors that can affect care.

UNSAFE WORKLOADS AND NURSE BURNOUT

That’s important too.

Unsafe workloads and nurse burnout continue to impact quality of care.[1] Thus, any software that improves workload balances and improves patient safety like ASSIGN for Nurses needs to be an integral part of an organization’s overall mission.

Don’t let patient assignments cause your staff to be resentful and frustrated. Create more balanced workloads by letting the software handle the complexity of the assigning process quickly and easily. It’s time to replace an antiquated manual process with a more sophisticated and intelligent approach.

To learn more about ASSIGN for Nurses or to schedule a demonstration, use this contact form.

To speak to a MedAptus representative directly, call us at (617) 896-4000.

[1] Lusine Poghosyan,Sean P. Clarke, Mary Finlayson and Linda H. Aiken Nurse Burnout and Quality of Care: Cross-National Investigation in Six Countries Res Nurs Health. 2010 Aug; 33(4): 288–298. doi:  10.1002/nur.2038

Imbalanced patient assignment workloads can affect performance and team cohesiveness.

patient assignment software for nurses

TWO STUDIES: THE FEASIBILITY OF AUTOMATED PATIENT ASSIGNMENTS

In a 2016 study evaluating how patient acuity and travel distance metrics affect workload balance of nurses in hospitals, researchers applied mathematical workload scoring metrics to patient assignments in an effort to understand the potential of automating assignments.[1]

“The methodology was able to show the feasibility to automate nurse-patient assignments that were perceived as feasible, balanced and potentially less biased, in comparison to a charge nurse creating assignments on the same unit.”

In another study in 2014 of three nursing wards in a 1000-bed Dutch university, a computerized decision support system was implemented and studied to determine its impact on nurse-patient assignments.[2] Thirty-six measurements were performed to determine impact. The researchers conclusion:

…the implementation of computerized decision support system would increase both the quality and safety of care as well as the nurses’ job satisfaction.

[1]J Biomed Inform. 2016 Dec;64:192-206. doi: 10.1016/j.jbi.2016.10.006. Epub 2016 Oct 11
[2] CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing Issue: Volume 32(6), June 2014, p 276–285

Balanced patient assignments improve patient care and patient satisfaction.

patient assignments

STUDY: NURSE SATISFACTION AND WORKING ENVIRONMENTS

One-third of nurses practicing in hospitals with poor environments were dissatisfied; in contrast, only 17 percent of nurses practicing in hospitals with better environments were dissatisfied (Exhibit 3). Differences for burnout, although not quite as pronounced, were similarly large and statistically significant.

…The percentages of nurses who were very satisfied with their salaries, benefits, and other aspects of their work were significantly higher—in some cases, nearly twice as high—in hospitals with better work environments compared to hospitals with poor environments. In all cases, the percentage of nurses who were dissatisfied was highest in the hospitals with poor environments.

…We also examined the association between nurse burnout and job satisfaction, on the one hand, and patient satisfaction measured by the HCAHPS survey ratings of the hospital, on the other hand. In unadjusted models, as well as those adjusted for structural and organizational characteristics of the hospital, nurse burnout and job satisfaction had a statistically significant effect on patient satisfaction.

McHugh MD, Kutney-Lee A, Cimiotti JP, Sloane DM, Aiken LH. Nurses’ Widespread Job Dissatisfaction, Burnout, And Frustration With Health Benefits Signal Problems For Patient Care. Health affairs (Project Hope). 2011;30(2):202-210. doi:10.1377/hlthaff.2010.0100.

ADDITIONAL STUDIES

To view more than 23 studies related to nurse burnout and workload – click here.