Children's Hospital Migrates From Paper to Power Apps
Building a tailor-made solution for an industry facing significant new challenges
Hospitals have been overwhelmed over the last several years and nursing staff have been some of the most overtaxed in the medical system. To help alleviate some of the pressure, it was more important than ever to ensure that the hospital’s limited resources were used as effectively as possible. When time and resources are tight, a manual pen-and-paper staffing system simply isn’t up to the task.
Shift management previously required lots of manual entry and calculations, phone conversations and face-to-face discussion. This opened the door to miscommunication and left some team members in the dark about staffing changes. To ensure the transfer to a digital platform was completely seamless, we worked closely with staff to a custom Power App that was fine-tuned to fit their needs and spoke their language. Throuhout the process, we paid special attention to user experience and ensured that the solution was highly usable. With their input, our application leaves less room for error, provides critical insight to the management team and records useful, accurate data.
Introducing a powerful global view for quicker decision making
One area that required immediate attention was the need for a digital dashboard to help the resource management team make timely decisions. With their pen-and-paper system, it was difficult to get a sense of the overall situation at a glance. By providing nursing administration with a resource management dashboard, we provided — for the first time — an effective overview of unit criticality and resource availability across the entire hospital. Because every second counts in a hospital environment, we worked extensively to ensure that the dashboard was intuitive, glanceable, and highly usable. This allows the resource management team to have a clear picture of the overall hospital environment and to quickly identify which areas need attention.
Beyond visibility, the digital dashboard also makes it quicker and easier to reassign resources and to keep everyone in each unit informed about the movement of their staff. The resource team is now able to make changes in 2 clicks that would prevously have required several minutes and multiple points of contact.
More accurate data leads to more accurate decisions
Our solution for the resource management team made available a global view of resources and simplified the process for making staffing changes, however, this would not be possible without the input of the nursing team through their own dynamic form. Improved communication between both teams was essential for them to function productively. By introducing a dynamic form for nursing staff, we were able to streamline and enhance communication between teams, and afford the management team the necessary data to fairly distribute resources across units.
The management dashboard and dynamic nursing form work in tandem to facilitate clear communication without the need for multiple face-to-face conversations. The nursing team can see incoming and outgoing resource for their specific unit, and are automatically informed of any changes made by the management team. They are also able to input data about the status of their units more easily thanks to the help of data automation. Because all the calculations are now done by the system, the entire process is faster for the nursing staff and the risk of human error is greatly reduced.
Putting it all together
Working closely with this major Chicago children’s hospital allowed us to create a powerful and highly usable solution that streamlined shift management and resource allocation across the hospital. With the help of Power Apps, we were able to streamline data collection, improve reporting, and provide a brand-new global view to help staff make critical decisions. This hospital is now able to manage their resources and track new metrics in less time, and with less errors than before.