Software matches nurses to patients
September 13, 2017
A software programme from Massachusetts-based MedAptus uses a proprietary protocol engine to match the right patients with the right nurses.
More than a year in development, Assign for Nurses replaces the cumbersome manual assignment process that most charge nurses or assistants use, which is slow, inefficient and often unfair because of imbalanced workloads.
"This is a sea change when it comes to patient assignments," said Eugene Schneider, MedAptus president and chief executive officer. "Not only can Assign for Nurses handle the complexity of balancing multiple protocols, but it does so quickly and easily."
First, it automatically taps into a patient census from the EHR, along with data from the hospital's nurse scheduling software. Then, it applies protocols – such as patient acuity, geography, continuity of care and others simultaneously – to match intelligently patients with nurses. Once the assignment process is completed, the final list is then automatically generated and distributed, either electronically or in print. The entire process takes minutes to complete.
"I really like how Assign for Nurses accounts for the many variables that can affect care," said nurse Lisa Quinn. "Too often, we just focus on one factor, such as patient acuity, when in fact patient-centred care involves a whole range of variables."
Studies show heavy nurse workloads can have a significant impact on patient safety and satisfaction, length of stays, and readmissions. Imbalanced workloads can also lead to feelings of unfairness, frustration and even burnout. That's one reason why developing patient assignment software for nurses was so important to MedAptus.
"We wanted to create a product that specifically addresses one of the most pressing challenges nurses face," said Schneider. "So much is affected by nurse workloads. It's nice to be able to provide software that dramatically improves such an important nursing function as patient assignments."
The software is designed to work in any unit and with any staff size. It also integrates seamlessly with all the major EHR systems and nurse scheduling software programmes, while requiring little IT staff involvement during implementation.
The software is the second patient assignment product MedAptus has launched in the past year. Previously, the company unveiled Assign for Physicians, which applies similar rules-based algorithms to rounding assignments. The company is also developing a proprietary software for case managers and therapists as well, creating a full suite of care coordination products.
MedAptus is a Boston-based healthcare technology company that helps care teams work better together by providing patient assignment, secure communications and charge capture software. The company's products have boosted financial performance, improved operations, and enhanced team care coordination for hospitals and other healthcare organisations throughout the USA for the past 18 years.