All posts tagged project

How Four Master’s Students Used Design to Help One Haiti Emergency Room – The Bentley University Newsroom

Imagine walking into a crowded emergency room and having your symptoms recorded electronically, in order to minimize wait time and maximize care. That efficient scenario a dream of hospitals everywhere is newly underway at a hospital in Haiti.

In 2015, Boston, Mass.-based Partners in Health (PIH), which runs University Hospital in Mirebalais, Haiti, set out to develop an electronic triage system to replace its paper-based process.Their strategy was to expand on OpenMRS, the open-source medical record system implemented there. But this being relatively new territory for the PIH team, they sought additional experts to get the job done.

Tapping into a Learning Community

Enter Bill Gribbons, a leading authority on user experience who directs the Masters in Human Factors in Information Design (HFID) at Bentley University. PIH contacted Gribbons, who then reached out to his extensive network he calls it a learning community and received a flood of interest. He recruited another faculty expert, Roland Hubscher, to help advise a team, and four part-time graduate students eager for hands-on experience and excited to make a difference. All were willing to work on the project remotely, for no pay and no course credit.

I firmly believe some of the most meaningful learning happens outside the confines of a traditional classroom, said Gribbons. This type of project, one that requires in-depth involvement and makes an immediate impact on a product, is invaluable for students particularly for graduate students, who are looking to grow their careers and stand out in a crowded marketplace.

The HFID students were located in different cities and time zones and came from different professional backgrounds. Kim Forthofer, the team lead, was in Southwest Harbor, Maine, Mary Gribbons in Cambridge, Mass.; Truc Tokarz in San Jose, Calif.; and Dan Lopes in Toronto, Ontario. Though they were not able to work on site in Haiti, they used Google Hangouts to meet as a group on Wednesday evenings to stay on track.

We looked to Bentley because we knew that their graduate students would be accountable for their work and thoughtfully execute this project, said David DeSimone, business analyst at PIH. The students did not disappoint. They asked all the right questions and delivered a product that was immediately well received.

Designing a Product that Makes a Difference

Designing an electronic emergency intake form, from a remote location, is no easy task. The requirements were that the form permit easy scanning by a nurse and visually signal the urgency of a patients medical needs. To begin, University Hospital sent its typical paper intake forms to the Bentley team for analysis. This system, which ranked patients with a numerical score and a color based on severity, left plenty of room for mathematical error.

In addition to the technical parameters, cultural considerations were also essential. One of the biggest challenges for the team was coming up with a user-friendly design for a population that has limited access to computers, said DeSimone. Their initial designs used a keyboard only, with no mouse. But by the time we implemented the technology, we were able to train the nurses on Google Chromebooks.

A significant part of the design process involved user surveys and user testing. Due to the distance and lack of readily available technology, the Bentley team designed static mockups and used a cognitive walkthrough exercise where they asked nurses to role-play a patient-intake scenario.

This helped us better understand the human thought process behind the products use, said Forthofer. We knew it was possible that lives could depend on nurses understanding the new app as quickly as possible.

Life-Changing Experience

Despite the lack of credit or pay, the experience of acting as consultants had enormous value for the team. They improved the hospital experience for patients in Haiti, while also building their own skills and putting them into practice.

The project was much more like a real consulting gig instead of a realistic project done over a semester and graded by a professor. This provided us with real-world pressure as well as real-world confidence and experience, said Forthofer, who also gained reinforcement that she is in the right career, for the right reasons. I began my professional life as an environmental engineer and user experience is a second career for me, so challenges related to technical and scientific areas are the ones I continue to be drawn to.

This venture is a first for Partners in Health, in terms of developing a product that triages patients electronically in real time. They hope the intake form will be replicated at other facilities in Haiti and elsewhere. Anecdotally, they know that emergency room waiting times are lower and, more important, that prioritization has improved so the most critical patients are seen first. PIH has plans to gather data on the products effectiveness, but in the meantime, patients are getting better care and nurses and doctors are better able to do their jobs – a winning prescription all around.

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Munson Healthcare Cadillac Hospital to Renovate Emergency Room – 9&10 News

The emergency room at Munson Healthcare Cadillac Hospital is getting a major makeover.

The hospital tells us they see almost 100 patients every single day in the ER, and that number is on the rise.

Right now, the ER has 15 rooms with beds.

And since the demand for ER care is rising, they also have two beds in the hallway where the patients have little to no privacy.

We’re up to 27,000 patients per year now, and in order to meet those needs we need a little bit more space, explains Jeremy Carlson, Manager of Emergency Services.

So now they’re doing just that.

Workers are drilling and sawing to create more space for the increasing number of patients Munson is seeing.

Ten years ago we were seeing probably 10,000 fewer patients a year so the design worked really well, Carlson says.

But it’s now time for a renovation.

So they’re re-locating the hallway beds into rooms to give patients more privacy, and theyre adding three extra rooms.

They’re not stopping there, though.

Better patient service means starting at the foundation, so the main staff workspace is getting a makeover too.

I’m excited about the renovation because I think from what the plans look like make its going to make it a more open, smooth space to work in, says ER Technician, Joe Berryhill. Youll be able to see the doc[tors] because there wont be big walls in front of you. So it’s pretty exciting.

Doctor, nurses and technicians will now be able to work side by side.

I think it’s going to help with the communication, Berryhill says. I think it’s going to be a lot [smoother], and in turn that’s going to make us take care of our patients a lot quicker with less obstacles in our way.

This project has been in the works for about a year now, and should be completed by May of 2018.

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Hospital eyes emergency room expansion – Republican Journal

By Ben Holbrook | Aug 12, 2017

Belfast Representatives from Waldo County General Hospital unveiled plans Aug. 9 to expand the emergency department and add new parking behind the Biscone Medical Building.

The 4,500-square-foot expansion will allow an increase in the number of available beds, to 15 from the current 10, and provide designated treatment rooms, Craig Piper, of SMRT Architects, said. Currently, the beds are screened with privacy curtains.

Of the 15 rooms that will be created, two are designated for trauma patients, two for behavioral health patients, one will serve as an isolation room and another for gynecology exams, Piper said.

Another elevator also will be installed to move patients from the ER to other areas of the hospital. Piper said the new elevator will provide more privacy for patients because they wont have to use the public elevators closer to the main entrance of the hospital.

The expansion will eliminate 24 parking spaces in front of the hospital, and an existing two-way entrance and exit from Fahy Street will be changed to a one-way entrance, Piper said.

Hospital representatives said the expansion is not being done because the hospital expects an increase in the number of patients being treated. Rather, the project will bring the emergency department into line with current hospital standards and provide better care for the existing patient population.

In conjunction with the expansion, the hospital seeks to add 70 parking spaces behind Biscone Medical Building. The spaces primarily will be used for employee parking but will also be available to the public.

Before any work can begin, the hospital must obtain permits from Department of Environmental Protection and Army Corps of Engineers. Piper said it typically takes about three months to obtain those permits and hospital officials are hopeful work will begin by November. However, any delays in receiving permits or inclement weather could push back the construction start date.

In that event, the expansion and parking lot work would likely not begin until the spring.

No comments for or against the project were offered during a brief public hearing. City Planner Wayne Marshall noted the city did not receive any comments about the proposed work before Wednesdays review.

Planning Board members were largely in favor of the plans presented, but some members did request additional information detailing pedestrian traffic flow.

The Board accepted the preliminary plan as complete and hospital officials said they anticipate presenting a finalized plan in September.

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Topeka VA’s hospital to expand emergency room – Modesto Bee – Modesto Bee

The Topeka Veteran Affairs’ hospital is planning a $4.5 million modernization project this fall.

Internal emails obtained by the Topeka Capital-Journal show that the project entails expanding the emergency department into the facility’s specialty clinic, which has moved to another location. It also includes private patient bays, a central physician and nursing hub, and a dedicated waiting space for families.

Chief of staff Alexander Hallock said the project will increase space, access, privacy and help deliver on suicide prevention.

Hallock said funds have already been allocated for the two-year project.

The project comes as the hospital struggles with a staffing shortage. The emergency room was closed from January 2014 to late June 2015 because of the shortage.

“I think there’s a staffing shortage in health care across the country, especially in the Midwest,” Hallock said. “We have a shortage of primary care providers, we have a shortage of emergency department providers, we have a huge shortage in psychiatrists.”

Less than 50 physicians are currently assigned to the Topeka VA, according to physician recruiter James Pryan.

Last month, the eastern Kansas VA system initiated the Physicians Ambassador Program, which uses volunteer, retired doctors.

“We have people in the pipeline that are there and that’s another mechanism that we are touting out to those physicians in the community,” Hallock said. “You want to keep your skills, come and volunteer with us. Be a physician ambassador from the community and show the veterans how much you care about what they have done for you.”

Hallock said the modernization project will help attract employees to the system.

The women’s health department also will be upgraded through a grant. The project is expected to double services for female veterans.

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Topeka VA’s hospital to expand emergency room | The Olympian – The Olympian

The Topeka Veteran Affairs’ hospital is planning a $4.5 million modernization project this fall.

Internal emails obtained by the Topeka Capital-Journal show that the project entails expanding the emergency department into the facility’s specialty clinic, which has moved to another location. It also includes private patient bays, a central physician and nursing hub, and a dedicated waiting space for families.

Chief of staff Alexander Hallock said the project will increase space, access, privacy and help deliver on suicide prevention.

Hallock said funds have already been allocated for the two-year project.

The project comes as the hospital struggles with a staffing shortage. The emergency room was closed from January 2014 to late June 2015 because of the shortage.

“I think there’s a staffing shortage in health care across the country, especially in the Midwest,” Hallock said. “We have a shortage of primary care providers, we have a shortage of emergency department providers, we have a huge shortage in psychiatrists.”

Less than 50 physicians are currently assigned to the Topeka VA, according to physician recruiter James Pryan.

Last month, the eastern Kansas VA system initiated the Physicians Ambassador Program, which uses volunteer, retired doctors.

“We have people in the pipeline that are there and that’s another mechanism that we are touting out to those physicians in the community,” Hallock said. “You want to keep your skills, come and volunteer with us. Be a physician ambassador from the community and show the veterans how much you care about what they have done for you.”

Hallock said the modernization project will help attract employees to the system.

The women’s health department also will be upgraded through a grant. The project is expected to double services for female veterans.

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Topeka VA’s hospital to expand emergency room | The Olympian – The Olympian

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