Bringing down the number of phonecalls and interruptions has a major impact on the work environment. With access to planned and ongoing tasks in Columna Flow, service staff and coordinators can work from the same information and find what they need without disturbing the colleagues around them.
Aalborg University Hospital initiated the pilot project for using Columna Flow due to issues with lack of status updates and proper overview of the service staff's whereabouts. Too much time was spent on the phone, checking up on task progress and estimated timelines.
Through on-site workshops, staff as well as management became deeply involved in the implementation of Columna Flow. The aim was to create a solution that matched user needs as efficiently as possible. The Columna Flow pilot project began at Aalborg University Hospital in February 2013 and the results were immediate and tangible.
Before Columna Flow, task management was handled by a coordinator who received all incoming tasks for service personnel over the phone. The tasks were then transferred and verbally allocated to the service personnel.
"Task Management means reduced waiting times for patients and better service logistics".
Lars Esko, Administrator,
Aalborg University Hospital
Using the hospital's existing infrastructure, the Columna Flow solution collects information about the location of service staff in the hospital. Service staff can use their smartphone to see where the nearest colleagues and tasks are. This increases efficiency and brings patient waiting time down to a minimum.
says Aalborg University Hospital Administrator, Lars Esko.
"One of the changes is that secretaries and clinical staff, for example in the x-ray department, enter their programme for the day into the system in the morning. This means we have much greater scope for adjusting our procedure accordingly because tasks don't come in on an ad-hoc basis any longer,"
A crucial reason for why Columna Flow has become so successful at Aalborg University Hospital is the constructive way the staff-locating function is used. Staff no longer compete to see who can carry out the most tasks. Management do not question where service staff are in the hospital either.
Instead, a learning culture has evolved, where staff exchange and discuss ideas with each other and plan together. They now have a greater overall understanding as focus has moved from the individual level to the ward as a whole. The ongoing exchange of ideas as well as mutual planning makes it easier for the staff to understand the individual's role and clarifies how the individual person contributes to the wider team.
Today, Columna Flow is implemented aross the entire hospital.
"While the system was being deployed, we still had a coordinator function. But the number of calls to the coordinator fell by 40-50 %, and has continued to fall as more wards now use Columna Flow," explains Lars Esko.
He continues: "Obviously, ensuring that patients get the best possible treatment is utmost in the minds of all of the staff at the hospital. Columna Flow means we can do our jobs with less waiting time, better information and optimal service logistics."
Another benefit to the system is that clinical staff experience far fewer interruptions during the day. Now, they can place their requests with the service staff in the morning and concentrate on delivering better care throughout the day. Columna Flow allows them to continously follow the progress, which reduces the number of disturbing follow-up phone calls significantly, minimising the overall stress level.
Columna Flow collects a range of data about e.g. peak load periods and task types, which allows management to better organise shift plans, analyse waiting times, improve hospital logistics, and much more.