Right now, The Ottawa Hospital Home Dialysis nursing team spends a lot of time on the road, driving approximately 7,500 km every week to offer support and continuity of care to the 220 patients who receive dialysis treatments at home.
Planning all these trips is a daunting task, but thanks to a partnership between the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa and The Ottawa Hospital (TOH), a new computer-based and user-friendly tool was designed to streamline the process.
“The nurse manager used to spend several hours - if not a full day - developing schedules,” explained Antoine Sauré, Assistant Professor, at the Telfer School of Management. “Now, the computer model is able to provide the schedules and travel routes for nurses in approximately five minutes. The new schedules and routes will allow nurses to spend more time providing quality care to their patients.”
The tool, which doesn’t have a name yet, was developed by Professor Sauré and a team of experts in business analytics that includes Ahmet Kandakoglu (Research Associate, Telfer School), Janet Graham (Clinical Director, Regional Nephrology Program and Regional Director, Champlain LHIN), and Dr. Brendan McCormick (Nephrologist, Medical Director, Home Dialysis Program, and Regional Medical Lead, Champlain LHIN).
The team’s in-depth knowledge of mathematical modelling, and their unique comprehension of the challenges facing the hospital’s Nephrology Program, gave them the ability to create a tool that can not only provide effective schedules in a matter of minutes, but that can potentially reduce the total weekly distance travelled by nurses by 20%.
“As we speak, the tool is being tested before it is fully deployed, but the increase in efficiency allows our nurses to work smarter, better and faster,” said Dr. McCormick. “This gives us the opportunity to improve both staff and patient experience, resulting in better care, closer to home.”
This project is part of Professor Sauré's research program on patient scheduling and capacity planning, which is supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Telfer Health Transformation Exchange, and the University of Ottawa.
To see a video demonstrating what this new tool is about, click here.
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