Reduce Shift Fatigue by Measuring Patient Interactions

By Chris Hermann

Do you know how often the clinicians in your hospital visit the patients under their care? Does the frequency of their visits change throughout their shift?

Until recently, it has been impossible to know when specific clinicians were visiting a particular patient room. But now, through our technology, clinical intervention data is easily captured and analyzed, making what was previously invisible…visible.

And the answer to the question is yes. Yes, the frequency of clinician visits to patients changes throughout their shift, in a very predictable way. Below is a graph showing the total number of patient interactions (clinical interventions) for all of our hospital customers, with data for all day shifts consolidated.

You can see that visits are highest in the morning, when a provider is “fresh” and has just arrived at work. Clinical interventions peak at 8:00 am as healthcare workers are greeting their patients for the day and getting familiar with their individual needs. Then visits drop a bit until right before lunchtime when patients are checked on again. In the afternoon, there’s a lull as clinicians may be getting tired and visiting patients less frequently. Activity rises again a bit before dinner, and then especially as clinicians are saying goodbye and clocking out…but late day activity never reaches even the lowest point from the morning.

So what should hospitals do with this kind of data? They should look for outliers in the data when providers aren’t visiting their patients as often. These could be times when patients are at a greater risk for falls or may develop pressure ulcers. When patients aren’t checked upon regularly, their patient satisfaction scores can suffer. This data may also shed light on operational or workflow issues that can be solved, which often helps other staff members become more efficient and effective as well.

If you’d like to learn more about how our electronic hand hygiene reminder system decreases HAIs by over 60%, download our free white paper now. Or contact us so we can discuss your hospital’s specific needs.

This is part of a series about Making the Invisible Visible: Clinical Intervention Data.

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