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3 key things driving a ROI on a new nurse call solution

3 key things driving a ROI on a new nurse call solution

29 July 2015

In healthcare, every investment has to be justified. And all healthcare technology upgrades require a business case which can illustrate and quantify the expected benefits of a new solution – whether it is a new nurse call system, patient entertainment system, or a phone or paging system.

As the bulk of the total expenditure in any hospital is labour cost, a business case is often focused on the operation efficiencies and time savings that a new technology will produce. This and – the arguably even more important – patient-centric benefits, combine to demonstrate the total expected return on investment.

The business case for a nurse call system is likely to be a separate exercise to (for example) a patient entertainment solution. And in this article, we focus on nurse call systems only.

Whether you are planning a new nurse call investment or conducting a review of a recent installation, here are some key areas for you to consider in your business case or post implementation analysis:

1.    Staffing costs and efficiencies

Reduction in the number of nurse calls being generated
What if your system supported your nursing team in implementing a pro-active, hourly rounding schedule? A Studer Group study estimates that this would reduce the number of nurse calls by up to 38% - thus allowing nurses to be more in control of their time and to spend it on other value-adding activities.

Reduction in medication delivery times
Columbus Regional Hospital in the US found that nurses were spending around 86 minutes delivering medicine to their patients. They realised that this time can be reduced by over 50% by a nurse call system that provides a direct link between the pharmacy and the patient’s care giver. The annual efficiency gains across the workforce are significant.

Quicker nurse sign-on process
How much time do your nursing staff spend signing-on to various systems at the start of their shift? Today’s advanced solutions can eliminate the need for multiple sign-ons, thus saving precious minutes. Consider this in light of the size of your nursing workforce to calculate the efficiency improvement.

Reduction in nursing staff turnover
When clinical processes are seamless and run smoothly, staff satisfaction is better. And happier staff are less likely to leave. Studies performed in Germany concluded that the process improvements resulting from the installation of this nurse call system, reduced the annual staff turnover by an average of 25%. This represents the equivalent reduction in associated costs such as recruitment and training.

Less nursing time spent on reporting and administration
A registered nurse can spend up to 35% of his or her time on managing reports and other documents. What if your nurse call system could automate much of the information gathering and provide comprehensive reports? Not only does this save nursing time but it helps to inform clinical decision making.

2.    Facility utilisation

Faster Theatre turnaround
A study conducted by Norton Brownsboro Hospital in the US concluded that a nurse call system that automated communication workflows in operating theatres, improved the turnaround time between each surgery by 8 minutes. What would this mean for your facility, in terms of cost savings and the impact on staff and patients?

3.    Patient safety and satisfaction

Improved patient safety
The Studer Group concluded that faster patient response times and the implementation of a regular rounding function can reduce the risk of falls by up to 50%. This helps to ensure positive patient outcomes and to reduce the hospital’s exposure to potential liability and costs associated with an extended patient stay. A 2011 US study estimates that a serious fall results in a 6.3 day extended stay, at a total cost of around $13,000 per event. What are your current falls rates? What if you could reduce them by 50%?

Increased patient satisfaction
The drivers of patient satisfaction are relatively simple – and number one on the list of patient complaints is the lack of communication from the clinical team. If your new nurse call system is able to support faster response times and support seamless patient and nurse communication, improvements in patient satisfaction will follow.

Are you creating a business case for a new nurse call investment or conducting a review of a recent installation?  We specialise in hospital communication and nurse call systems, and patient entertainment solutions and are experts in healthcare system integration. Speak to us to see how we can help.

Other articles which may be of interest:
When healthcare system integration goes wrong and how to avoid it.
Time for a healthcare technology refresh. Things to look for in a supplier.
The REAL cost of running too many disparate systems.
8 simple things you can do today to increase patient satisfaction.