A service logistics tasking system that provides transparent overviews of what needs doing
Easy access to data and reports
A transparent system that delivers data that can be used to optimise workflow
Faster, safer and more reliable service for patients
Greater flexibility and more efficient use of the hospital’s service resources
In the spring of 2018, Nordsjællands Hospital – which consists of the hospitals at Hillerød and Frederikssund – implemented the Columna Service Logistics system as part of its development strategy, which is based on the data-driven management of the logistics operations in this Danish hospital.
Since this setup was implemented, Nordsjællands Hospital has undergone major changes in its day-to-day logistics, which is now based on data from the service logistics system. Previously, the staff used only manual procedures. This meant that when a task was to be ordered and dealt with, the departments had to either call the central office, which allocated the task appropriately, or placed a direct call to the particular service assistants working for each department.
The implementation of the digital Columna Service Logistics system means that the service personnel at Hillerød and Frederikssund Hospital now have a comprehensive overview of the tasks they are required to deal with, while also generating data that helps the hospital provide the best service for patients.
”Digitisation of the whole process is in itself a huge gain for our logistics operations. What has been done and how it has been done are now both documented. This has significantly changed the way we collaborate with the different departments,” explains John Bjørn Olsen, development manager for Facility Management at Nordsjællands Hospital. John Bjørn Olsen elaborates: “The volume, frequency and speed of our service tasks have all improved, because we now have a clear picture of what we have to deal with”.
The overview of the service logistics in the Columna Service Logistics system has resulted in a large amount of data that the hospitals are able to use to improve communication between the different departments, hospital management and the service centre. The data that the service logistics helps generate is used for several different purposes.
One example is when service management has to deliver a regular report to the Executive Board every quarter. The data now collected is used to present how service personnel have performed in relation to the service agreements. This type of reporting was simply not possible before introduction of the Columna Service Logistics system.
The way Nordsjællands Hospital makes use of data has also led to organisational changes in terms of logistics, explains John Bjørn Olsen: “We can now move tasks between teams, with opportunities to ensure a good match with the particular skills available. This gives us a better focus on skills development among our service staff, which in turn creates more opportunities for the different teams and provides greater flexibility in our overall logistics setup.”
"These changes have been decisive. The service staff now know exactly where and how they can tackle the tasks they are presented with. Moreover, they now have a clear process for getting the tasks done in cooperation with the departments. This gives a completely different approach to tackling these tasks."
Data has also had a significant impact on the way service staff and the departments cooperate in day-to-day operations.
Data from the Columna Service Logistics system is used at meetings between service management and the departments. The data that service management receives from the system is used to analyse when events or issues arise that present challenges in day-to-day operations. “Data means that we can now see where and how our service efforts were distributed in specific episodes,” explains John Bjørn Olsen.
Before the implementation of the new service logistics system, communication between the different departments and teams was different. If problems arose and a task was not dealt with correctly, the head of the department concerned get hold of the service management team, who then informed the service staff concerned.
The flow of communication has now been reversed, so it is the service managers who call in the departments for meetings, where they present how the service personnel have performed, based on the data to which the service logistics system has given them access.
"Previously, it was always a question of what we from the service team had been unable to deliver, or could do better. It could be that an operating theatre had not been cleaned on time, or that a patient had arrived late for an examination. After the implementation, we have a clear overview of when and how problems arose, and this can give rise to a good dialogue between the department and service staff," explaines John Bjørn Olsen.
The service management team now holds regular meetings with the departments, where they have an open dialogue about how best to deliver, based on concrete data. This is a process that contributes to an improved workflow between departments and service personnel.
"It is a good example of where data has really contributed to improvements. Previously, we might have an idea about where the challenges were, but now we can actually document this with data."
The availability of relevant data has given Nordsjællands Hospital a clear insight into the relationship between the orders placed for service tasks and the time for expected delivery of these tasks. For example, the system shows that many tasks are ordered just before staff in the departments go for lunch, in connection with doctors’ ward rounds or in conjunction with shift changes. It is clear that peaks and bottlenecks occur in the logistics during these particular times, when the service personnel are unable to deal with the number of “orders” received.
“In cases like these, data has given us a way to register and measure these times, which has in turn contributed to a good, open dialogue between the service staff and the departments about why the demand peaks occur,” says John Bjørn Olsen.
For the service personnel, the solution to this has been a reorganisation of the staffing of the various teams at different times throughout the day. At the same time, the departments have focused on getting the tasking orders spread out over the day, so that things like a change of shift does not generate a lot of new taskings at the same time.
At Nordsjællands Hospital, data has created a strong foundation for better communication and dialogue, which benefits every part of the hospital when the big logistics jigsaw has to be pieced together every single working day.