A leading British home health care service had 500 personnel, including a mobile work force of 250 National Health Service (NHS) Projects nurses out on field visits at any one time. Nurses would typically complete three to four visits in their defined regions. Each visit, also known as a ‘service activity’ could last from less than an hour to several hours, depending on patient requirements.
The service was scheduling its workforce manually using lists and spreadsheets. These were managed regionally and uploaded to a centralized Microsoft Dynamics Patient Care Record system. Nurses were provided a list of visits for the next day or two, and each nurse was required to phone patients and sort the order of visits.
Because of the highly manual processes, it was extremely difficult to generate a holistic report of availability and work patterns. Moreover, conflicts and errors were rife, and concerns were mounting regarding the impact on patient care and outcomes as the service was forced to grow and accommodate the aging population demographic it served.
The service also wished to extend its ability to schedule out to three months ahead, rather than the 24 to 48 hours in advance it was currently doing. Additionally, regional boundaries were no longer the focus as changes in the NHS delivery strategy meant that scheduling was to become based on patient location rather than a nurse’s region.
The service found that Okhama was an ideal solution to provide a robust and optimized schedule. Okhama not only delivered the required automation but also seamlessly interfaced with the existing Microsoft Dynamics Patient Care Record system and with the resource management system.
Customer service was now able to book appointments in real-time, months in advance. Upon referral, automatically utilizing traffic and route data, specific nursing resources were allocated to service activities in real-time based on their type, qualifications and availability. Okhama managed disruptions, re-optimizing schedules and updating the other systems as necessary.
With Okhama, the service was now factoring in business rules, availability, skills, working patterns, holidays, traffic as well as velocity data and regulatory requirements in real-time during the scheduling process. Importantly, individual nurse activities were automatically tied back to specific patient care records.
For this critical mobile work force service, BoldIQ efficiently automated, optimized, and integrated its scheduling process.
After implementing BoldIQ’s Okhama, there were more than 30% in cost reductions. The new automated and optimized schedules addressed the range of complex and evolving demands from the patients, the NHS and the business.
With Okhama’s interfaces to existing systems, NHS SLAs were more easily met and reported on, as tying nurses to areas, patients and treatments with varying priority parameters became straightforward. Moreover, consultants and other clinicians were now aware of their patient’s ongoing treatment in real-time. Critically, this integration also meant that Okhama provided system-wide KPI reporting to assist management with its nurse efficiency and patient care delivery goals.
To sum up, with BoldIQ’s Okhama, this home health care service rapidly automated and optimized a highly manual scheduling process for its mobile work force to include a range of business, regulatory and personnel constraints, measurably contributing to the bottom line as well as patient care goals.