Hospitals and outpatient clinics can be a vortex – a virtual black hole. Glasses, dentures, clothing, a stuffed toy, an electronic gizmo, jewelry disappear. Nothing is immune. It’s no surprise, really. Patients and families are often distracted, anxious, and (hopefully) focused more on their treatment, recovery, and (oh glorious day!) discharge than on the location of their keys.
The typical solution to this problem? The Lost and Found – a different black hole of sorts, comprised of numerous drawers, disparate “filing” structures, and boxes stuffed under counters. “The Lost and Found” sounds like a centralized, organized department, one whose aim is to unite people with their belongings and valuables. The intent is usually good – hospital staff members don’t want their last impression to be the disappointment of an unrecovered cherished object. But intent and execution are animals of different species.
At Bronson Healthcare, Nancy Radcliff, RN, Director of the Bronson Experience, decided that a disconnected set of lost and found approaches would not meet the organization’s commitment to “create compassionate experiences that exceed patient and family expectations.” So she enlisted the help of a member of the organization’s IT team to create a unified lost and found tracking system that would help team members reunite patients and families with lost items.
The solution, which was built on Sharepoint, allows staff to:
Log and search for lost items using a series of filters, including the type of object, when and where it was found, and the owner (if this information is known).
Track outreach and communication to patients and family members when staff members call to reconnect lost items with their owners.
Set up alerts to track the status of specific items as the hunt for their owner progresses.
Archive past entries to keep an auditable trail of items returned to their owners or discarded when unrecovered for a specified time.
Using this system makes it much easier for Bronson Healthcare staff members to locate lost items and return them to their owners. This not only helps them alleviate the stress of patients and family members trying to track down lost goods, it makes employees more efficient so that they can focus on caring.
Members of the Experience Innovation Network who want to learn more about this solution can contact Nancy Radcliff at Bronson Healthcare.