“‘Go live’ for electronic bed management is finally within sight,” says Kristi Chisholm, Clinical Lead for the Bed Management Project.

“It has taken a lot of time and energy, and has involved so many people, but we are almost there.”

“This system is centered around the patient,” explains Chisholm. “We want to improve their experience with us by reducing wait times, reducing unnecessary transfers and ensuring they receive the right level of care from admission to discharge.”

Electronic Bed Management will go live on Tuesday, March 19 at all three Saskatoon hospitals. The launch of this system is a big step toward the eventual implementation of electronic health records for the Region. Electronic Bed Management aligns bed supply with demand, and eliminates steps so the right patient is placed in the right bed, for the right level of care, at the right time.

For staff, Electronic Bed Management provides real-time updates for planning and anticipating movement on each unit, and it means staff will be able to see requests for admission and transfers at a glance.

“Our focus now is on getting staff ready for this change,” says Chisholm, who understands staff preparedness is vital for the success of the new system. “We began with expert training back in November to give a small group of staff the opportunity to see the capability of the whole system. We are now getting ready for super-user training in early February.

The super-users will then train others in their own units how to use Electronic Bed Management. We will be ready for March 19.”

Anne Marie Spence, a Registered Nurse in Maternal and Newborn Care Unit, and an expert user of the system agrees that proper training is key to success. “Training, communication and support for staff are very important as Electronic Bed Management does mean a significant change in how things are done (on the unit),” she says, adding that while training is time-consuming, there are benefits for staff. “(The system) allows a quick, easy and transparent visual overview of the hospital so staff are able to easily identify beds that are occupied, clean, dirty or unstaffed – something we can’t do now.”