You may have heard the news about this week’s opening of UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay. After more than 10 years of planning and construction, this “next-generation,” $1.5 billion facility opened in San Francisco on Sunday, generating a lot of excitement about its impressive technology and optimal healing environment for patients.
Some news stories focused on the fleet of 25 courier robots that deliver medication, meals, linens and other supplies throughout the two-block-long medical center. Others touted the new MRI and CT scan suites, which put patients at ease with video projectors and soothing color schemes.
The San Francisco Chronicle covered the innovative communication technology the hospital implemented as part of its focus on patient-centered care. The Voalte Clinical team and I were proud to collaborate with the incredible leaders at UCSF Mission Bay to analyze their clinical workflow and implement a comprehensive alarm and alert management strategy for the new facility.
When Voalte began working with the leaders at UCSF in March 2014, we saw immediately that they were passionate about building an exceptional experience for caregivers and the patients they serve. The vision and commitment of the following leaders at this facility is commendable:
- Joe Bengfort, Chief Information Officer
- Kim Scurr, Executive Director of Hospital Operations Planning
- Pam Hudson, Executive Director of Clinical Systems
- Kevin Spolini, RN, MSN, Clinical Informatics
This team tasked Voalte with coordinating UCSF’s technology vendors to create a state-of-the-art alarm and alert management system that does much more than just send basic alerts with a patient room number. Caregivers receive context-aware information such as heart rate and other numeric parameters on their Voalte smartphones, allowing them to call an attending physician instantly, send a text message to another caregiver, and respond appropriately to each alarm and alert.
Thanks to the commitment of leaders at UCSF Mission Bay, the Voalte team collaborated with Connexall, GE, Rauland and other vendors; created a comprehensive project plan with detailed timelines; and brought together the needs of clinical and technical teams. Once the clinical design was in place and input was considered, the medical center set up a clinical simulation center – a dedicated area where point-of-care physicians and staff could experience the alarm and alert strategy and provide feedback before the system went live.
It was an incredibly rewarding journey to work with so many innovative technologies and architect a collaborative solution that benefits the clinicians in their day-to-day activities. The impact of reducing repetitive tasks such as staff assignment, and notifying Voalte phones with critical information above and beyond standard alerts will elevate the care experience for patients and nurses at UCSF Mission Bay. From the day the doors opened at the new medical center, we heard from nurses who felt the value of their Voalte smartphones. One said, “This is the best idea UCSF Children’s has ever had. It’s convenient, easier to text, and communication is fluid.”
Just as UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay represents the future of healthcare, their leaders represent the future of healthcare technology leadership.
Please contact me if you’d like more information on how to develop an advanced alarm and alert strategy at your hospital.
Eric Brill is General Manager of Clinical Solutions at Voalte.