Importance of collecting and analyzing bedside data for hospitals

Is it imperative to collect and analyze bedside data? Collecting bedside data allows management to make real-time care decisions for their patients as opposed to retrospectively correcting a problem for future patients. We live in such a data driven world that there will always be a continual need for improvement, especially in the patient care sector, in order to streamline the delivery and documentation process to increase patient satisfaction.

Using live bedside data allows for more effective evaluation not only of workflow, but also of patient care and recovery. Tracking the data emitted from the patient bed would provide the opportunity to reassign staff and increase the care necessary when a patient exhibits behavior known to correlate to a fall. For example, bed alarms and call light devices can notify the health care providers that the patient is about to have an incident and can provide a method to identify those at higher risk for falls. This could lead to an improvement in the patient's’ recovery, therefore indicating the patient can be taken off fall precautions. With bedside data, nursing leadership can also see what types of calls happen at certain times of day. So if there are a significant number of toilet requests at 2 pm, a nurse can address the toileting needs during his/her hourly rounds. Instead of asking the patients if there is anything he/she can get for them, the nurse/ patient care technician can proactively anticipate the need and cross it off the list when they aren’t as busy. This data can also be used to detect and correct many other patient and staff issues. Caregivers, nursing leadership and hospital administration can use analytics from beds in order to find behavioral (patient) and process (staff) changes in order to curb bad behaviors or improve processes. For example, if a single patient demonstrates repeat behavioral problems, management can get to the root of the issue through discussion, or can talk with the nurse/ patient care technician responsible to see if there is anything they can do to correct the behavior and make the patient feel comfortable.

Patient data not only helps the staff work more efficiently and calmly, but helps tell the story of the patient experience and helps us understand why certain patients have different behaviors. All of which can usually be addressed through strategic conversations with either the patient or staff, but you need data to identify the gaps to make strategic decisions.