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Stamping out inefficiencies on the ward

July 27, 2009 9:01 AM

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NURSES have begun using pedometers in a bid to stamp out inefficiencies in Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s hospital wards.

The distances being walked by staff during their shift is just one of a number of observations being made in a pioneering new scheme scrutinising the way wards are organised.

The aim of the national scheme is to tackle inefficiency in hospital wards and free up more time for staff to dedicate to caring for patients.

“The phrase ‘A place for everything and everything in its place’ is well known, and one that many of us try to practice in our homes,” explained acute director of nursing, Rory Farrelly.

“Now we’re taking that saying and applying it to our wards. By looking at our ward environment and how it affects the way we work, we will be able to identify simple and effective ways of reducing wasted time.

“A simple example is the location of the linen cupboard on the ward. Staff will look at this and the amount of time they spend walking to and from that cupboard to change patients’ bedding. In some wards, there will undoubtedly be wasted time walking long distances to get linen that is not within easy reach. This is time that would be better spent looking after patients.”

The ward layout is only one area that will be examined in the new initiative which has already been rolled out successfully in England. We will also work with the staff, observing practices - such as how they carry out ward rounds, prepare and serve meals and arrange admission and discharge - to see if there are areas that could be tightened up.

Rory went on: “We know this works because of experiences in England. The key to its success is that every member of the ward team, from the senior charge nurse to the domestic, is involved and has ownership of both the problem and the solution. Patients can also get involved and let us know if there are inefficiencies from their point of view.

“I believe that the scheme will help identify some great ideas to improve our wards which will allow our nurses to spend significantly more time with our patients.”

The scheme is currently being rolled out to all wards across Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

ENDS

For further information on the launch contact 0141 201 4429.

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