Bookplan from Capgemini helps the hospital improve resource management and boost transparency
Before implementing bookplan, the cardiology unit at Aarhus University Hospital (AUH), Skejby, used to follow a manual process to schedule and book patients’ treatment in the unit. There were many resources to keep track of at the same time, and if a patient’s course of treatment was changed, the nurses at the laboratory had to manually update the new times in multiple systems. With 165 different types of examinations and 18,000 patients admitted annually, including many emergency hospitalizations, work scheduling had become highly complex.
“We had overlapping systems, and there was no automation between the systems,” explains Hanne Dalsgaard, who was the strategic coordinator for the bookplan project and who, until recently, had been head nursing officer in the department for 26 years. She points to the risk of wasted time and resources owing to undetected holes or overbooking in the daily work flow. AUH wanted to enhance efficiency, and since the department was also in the process of adopting a new EHR, the introduction of a new booking system would help the cardiology unit take the initial steps in the overall implementation project.
The Cardiology Department is the first at Skejby to implement bookplan, an IT solution developed by Capgemini Denmark over the past ten years in cooperation with clinicians. Bookplan has been chosen as the booking system for all hospitals in the Central Denmark Region and functions as a module in the region’s joint EHR.
In the system, the examination programs for the various rooms are divided into different time slots, where some rooms can be booked far in advance, some two weeks in advance, others 72 hours in advance or immediately. This way, patients are scheduled in the calendar based on the medically feasible waiting time and capacity, leaving enough room for emergency use. The system can take into account vacation and training days when there is lower capacity in operating rooms and bed units.
“We have now got an electronic solution that ensures our patient flow through the system and facilitates scheduling,” says Dalsgaard. When the patient is referred or admitted, their data is entered into the system just once, and that data follows the patient throughout the department. She points to the fact that scheduling has become better coordinated, and resource management between the Cardiology Laboratory and the bed unit as well as between the different groups of staff and resources has improved. The system is constantly updated online, reflecting changes immediately. “It already looks as if we have got better scheduling and production, shorter waiting lists and we can use our resources more appropriately,” says Dalsgaard.
Bookplan has also shifted the overview from one person to everyone in the department. Doctors often look at daily programs and admittance lists. Patients can immediately get an appointment for a coherent course of treatment, and that translates into calmer daily routines for nurses and secretaries who schedule and execute the daily program.