By collecting and analyzing data on an aggregated level, it becomes possible for hospitals, staff and management to detect real-time trends in the workflow patterns of healthcare workers. This has already generated important insights into several hospitals where the Sani nudge system is installed. It helps to quantify the workload and needs of staff during the day and to avoid “blind spots” in the treatment and care of patients.
The importance of regular patient visits
It is important that healthcare workers check up on patients regularly during a shift to ensure that they are well and their clinical condition is stable.
Regular measurement of patient parameters can detect early patient deterioration, trigger appropriate treatment and prevent cardiac arrest, thereby reducing 1) the need for invasive care, 2) hospital lengths of stay, 3) admission costs and 4) improving survival [1,2].
Technological advancements can improve patient safety
With the Sani nudgeTM system it is now possible for hospitals to detect when healthcare workers are visiting the patients and investigate the profession of the clinician, e.g. physician, nurse, physiotherapist, cleaning staff etc.
By collecting and analyzing data on an aggregated level, it becomes possible for hospitals, staff and management to detect real-time trends in the workflow patterns of healthcare workers, which has already generated important insights into several hospitals where the Sani nudge system is installed.
Shift fatigue – an overlooked factor?
Data from the Sani nudge system show that the number of patient visits not only changes throughout the shift, but in a very predictable way. The graph below displays the total number of visits in the patient rooms for some of the hospitals where the Sani nudge system has been installed.
It is very clear that they are all following the same pattern of visits with 1) a high peak in the morning, 2) a general decrease throughout the day and 3) two further increases around lunch and then at the end of the shift. The same pattern was also found during the evening and night shifts (data not shown here).
The three peaks reflect the routine tasks and rounds that the healthcare workers are doing. However, the general drop in the number of visits also tells that staff is more likely to see the patients in the first part of the shift rather than in the end.
This is important to be aware of to avoid “blind spots” in the treatment and care of patients whether this would be measuring of vital signs, examining neurological function, checking for pressure ulcers or patients in high risk of falling – or simply “just” providing the compassionate, loving and human attention, which sometimes is a missing link in modern nursing care.
Predictive staffing – a new tool to improve patient safety
What might be even more interesting from a management point of view is that the data also show when staff is most needed during a shift. This can be scaled up to days, weeks or even months providing management an overview of when there is high demand which can be used to predict when more staff is needed.
The data can also be used to see which “types of patients” or diseases require more staff resources than others. Of course, you might already have a good idea of this but now it is made possible to quantify the workload and the need of staff during the day.
Interested in learning more?
 NCEPOD - Cardiac Arrest Procedures: Time to Intervene? Report (2012) [Internet]. [cited 2019 Jul 22].
 Vincent J-L, Einav S, Pearse R, Jaber S, Kranke P, Overdyk FJ, et al. Improving detection of patient deterioration in the general hospital ward environment. Eur J Anaesthesiol. 2018 May;35(5):325–33.