Timeliness, in particular, became a factor in solu- tion selection when Morrison’s team found themselves with an urgent need to complete the creation of a new start care facility for the ED, the first pediatric Level 1 trauma center in Dallas. Morrison recalls, “We had a target date for comple- tion and were working hard to meet it.” The combi- nation of user needs, deadlines and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements made choosing a from-the-box option unacceptable. The differences between ready-made and custom- built solutions were made clear when CMC made the choice to team with Proximity Systems’ design specialists. Utilizing a combination of more than 100 strategically positioned, customized workstations de- signed and built by Proximity has resulted in positive feedback from the hospital’s doctors and nurses. And since the units were manufactured and delivered directly by the company, there were no middle agents to dilute the connection between customer and service, and Morrison’s ED deadline was met within less than a month. Houston-based Proximity’s C-ARM series of workstations are now located in CMC’s patient rooms and the infusion unit, taking up minimal space while allowing staff to conduct charting tasks at the point of care. Each station is designed to conceal, protect and ventilate computing equipment, while providing a workspace that is customizable by each staff person with easily accessible height adjustments, plus extendable, swiveling arms that retract fully. “The monitor and keyboard section swivels away from the unit to a position where you’re actually standing in front of the patient; yet the way it’s designed, you really are tak- ing up the same amount of footprint in the room whether you are using it or not,” Morrison says, calling the C-ARM workstation design “really ingenious.”
Strategically positioned workstations in patient rooms, exam rooms, ERs, ICUs, ORs, hallways and other areas move information near the point of care, reducing the effort and time to get data, and can improve workflow and reduce FTEs.
Initial cost, the downside of choosing a custom-designed- and-built workstation solution, was shown in a study to be offset by the benefits, especially in terms of walking distance traveled by hospital staff. Proximity Systems’ workstations were featured in the study conducted by Rapid Modeling Corporation, which looked at four different scenarios of nursing stations and meds dispensaries: 1. Centralized nursing station and pharmacy; 2. Conservative use of computer carts; 3. Liberal use of computer carts; and 4. In-room workstations that include charting equipment, meds and supplies storage.
The study concluded that placing IT equipment and patient medications in secure, wall-mounted workstations, strategically positioned in or near patient rooms, reduced the distance nurses walked per day by between 50 and 80 percent. The overall result in terms of cost is increased efficiency and productivity, not to mention a boost in staff job satisfaction. Morrison concurs, describing how the hospital’s ongo- ing relationship with Proximity Systems helped facilitate a re-cabling project in the ED. In this case, the company’s multi-compartment workstations were designed and installed according to ADA requirements for placement in pathways. “We’ve created touch-down locations in the corridors where the doctors can do their charting away from the other work areas,” Morrison says. “It gives the doctors access to a computer without needing to interrupt work in the nurse’s station. It’s a win-win for both groups.” For CMC in Dallas, Proximity Systems has become part of the expansion team, as their ADA-approved multi- compartment workstations are now the standard, a move that adds efficiency to the hospital’s continued expansion. All new construction will be free of issues with the Joint Commission and life safety inspections, since the units already meet all ADA requirements.
Proximity Systems’ custom design process brings together the functional needs of users, such as doctors and nurses. Workstations look more like elegant furniture than bulky equipment.
Establishing a constructive relationship with product pro- viders who can deliver solutions from outside the box was a key decision for Children’s Medical Center.
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