You’re sitting it out in the waiting room while a loved one is having surgery. You wonder what’s going on, how long it will take, if you have time to dash out for a Starbucks or get a bite to eat. The last five minutes have felt like five hours. You fault yourself for not having enough patience.
“One part of the Island Hospital Promise pledge is ‘to always place your emotional needs first and foremost’,” said Director of Surgical Services Steve Burton RN, CNOR, BSc. “With that in mind, we developed the Patient Progress Tracker, which allows relatives and authorized friends of those who are undergoing surgery to see where their loved ones are on their care journey.”
How it works
Upon arrival to registration, surgery patients are given a unique number which is written on a reusable card. Each patient’s family keeps this card with them until the patient is discharged. The patient’s surgeon also has this unique identifier. A monitor, or “big screen”, placed in the surgery waiting area displays the unique numbers of patients currently on the care continuum. Alongside each number, colors are used to represent what phase the patient has entered, and at what time; i.e., into pre-op, into surgery, into recovery, and ready for discharge. (The card given the family has an explanation as to the colors they will see on the monitor.)
“We are acutely aware of the need for privacy,” said Burton, “and with the unique number identifier we can maintain that privacy along with keeping the patient’s family informed of their loved one’s care.”
Understanding that people often feel better knowing that their loved one is progressing; staff will still call out to the waiting area during long cases to update the family. “But for shorter procedures,” Burton said, “this is an ideal solution and exciting addition to the care we can offer patients and their families.”
Photo: Patient Access Supervisor Bo Gillentine and Surgical Services Director Steve Burton RN near the new surgery patient tracker monitor.