A completely new emergency ward was constructed at the Klinikum Chemnitz on 3 July 2012. There, we treat 37,000 patients per year. In comparison to the situation before, the surface area of the ward has grown by 250% (from 500 m2 to 1800m2). The emergency room now consists of 16 normal treatment stations, 4 shock rooms and an OR with 2 compartments, including a preparation room.
We knew from the beginning that the organisational structure that we had back then (i.e. whiteboard and documentation on paper) would not be sufficient for the future. That is why we decided to implement an electronic workflow support system. After extensive research in other hospitals and a European tender we assigned the execution of the project to E.care.
After an extremely constructive cooperation with the colleagues and our IT department we were able to begin working with the software on 22 January 2013. The workflow support and the entire medical documentation have been done in E.care – without disruption. Because the software was not yet implemented at the time the new emergency ward was opened, we had to bridge an unpleasant period of 6 months with paper and a whiteboard. The consequences of all of this were long waiting times and, resulting from that, complaints at the management’s office. Thanks to E.care and the step-by-step adoption by the staff the situation has improved significantly.
- 1 For each room we know who, when and what needs to be done with/for the patients.
- 2 The management of complaints is clearly simplified as the quality of the documentation has noticeably improved, especially in ambulatory patients.
- 3 The average time the patient spends in the emergency room has decreased from 3.7 hours in January (before the implementation of E.care ED) to 2.5 hours in July and August 2013, despite the increase in numbers of patients.
These improvements could partly be realised by the better adjustment to the new work environment, but especially thanks to the complete use of E.care ED. We measured the distance that our nurses cover 4 months before and 4 months after the implementation of E.care. Before the implementation of E.care, the nurses in the various wings of the ward (FastTrack, normal treatment and shock room) covered 8,067 metres in 8 hours’ time on average. Since the implementation of E.care this distance has been reduced to 5,067 meters in 8 hours’ time. This means a reduction of the distance covered per nurse per shift of 37.2%!
Since the summer of 2013 the doctors have been using E.care more and more for the build-up of the documentation and the doubt that ruled in the beginning has made way for enthusiasm. Because the summarised documentation forms part of our electronic patient file it is also at the disposal of all the treating physicians of the hospital.
In the meantime we have also tested how E.care ED works on a TabletPC. Via a Wi-Fi connection E.care is now also available in areas where there is no PC present.
E.care has inspired us and we are so happy that we have been working with this impeccable and smooth system since January 2013.
On behalf of all the users of E.care in the emergency room of Klinikum Chemnitz GmbH:
Senior physician Dr. Thomas Baitz Chemnitz, specialist department of anaesthesia /intensive care/emergency medicine