In 2018, Oregon Medical Group began preparations for the opening of its newest facility – a 46,000 square foot multispecialty outpatient clinic in Eugene. The new location had a layout unique to the organization’s 16 existing clinics in the region, and required patients to check in for all appointments at a centralized registration area on the first floor. Staff would then need to notify care providers of patient arrival, manually retrieve patients from the waiting area and move them to the exam room, all while informing communicating possible wait times.
For patients with consecutive visits, multiple departments within the facility needed to know the status and location of each patient to properly manage resources. Moreover, the floor plan of the new building did not allow for complete visibility from clinical workstations to each exam room, making the traditional medical flag system used in most of Oregon Medical Group’s clinics obsolete..
Oregon Medical Group addressed the workflow challenges by using Real-Time Location System (RTLS) technology. They partnered with CenTrak to implement its patient- and staff-locating technology with existing asset tracking software. CenTrak was selected because its RTLS system has room-specific location accuracy.
The RTLS system’s data, when integrated within Oregon Medical Group’s EHR system, was the crux of the strategy which improved the efficiency of the patient registration process. By facilitating clinical workflow and resource allocation, patients experienced shorter wait times, maximizing time spent with their care provider.
The efficiencies we’ve gained from using CenTrak’s RTLS system have been quite incredible. Patients are getting more time with their care team while also experiencing a decrease in appointment wait times. These results have dramatically improved both patient and provider satisfaction rates.
- Steve Liu, Director of IT,
Powered by active RFID, CenTrak’s RTLS system provided Oregon Medical Group’s personnel with real-time, actionable data on the whereabouts of physicians, staff, patients, and assets. This data made it possible for clinical teams to identify workflow bottlenecks and make informed decisions to tailor processes to improve care quality and overall patient experience.
The level of visibility provided by Oregon Medical Group’s custom RTLS solution has allowed them to transition to a patient self-rooming model, in which patients at the location head directly to the exam room after registering at the front desk, virtually eliminating the need for a traditional waiting room. When patients head to the exam room, clinicians are alerted in real-time that the patient is waiting to be seen. This resulted in a 50% reduction in patient time spent waiting in the exam room for the physician.
As a result, care provider satisfaction rates improved not only from increased time with patients, but the patient self-rooming model made possible through RTLS technology has saved them up to 90 minutes per day of travel time between waiting areas and exam rooms.