Niagara Health System
Niagara Health is a regional health organization that has 6 different hospitals serving over 450,000 people. Their IT team was looking for a trusted technology Partner to help them accelerate their migration to Azure and show them how to quickly deliver new Microsoft cloud applications.
They selected ObjectSharp as their Partner, because of the proven technology skills of our senior Consulting team, and our deep experience with Azure.
KEY TECHNOLOGIES USED
- Azure Services
- SQL Server
Our first engagement was to optimize their planned cloud architecture (based on the Azure Framework we have developed for many other clients). There were 4 key foundations that we helped them configure to provide safe and secure ‘guard rails’ for all their future cloud applications: Security, Networking, Logging and Monitoring, and Cost Mgt.
Once these foundations were in place, we began helping their team deliver new custom cloud applications to their organization.
HOW WE HELPED OUR CLIENT
Patients on their way to the hospital in an ambulance, need to be admitted as quickly as possible when they arrive. But formally admitting a new patient involves backend systems and departments exchanging key patient data. Niagara wanted a way to start that information flow earlier, ideally while the ambulances were still on their way to the Hospital. Then when they arrived, the Hospital could admit the patients much faster and be ready to provide each one with the care they needed. The goal was to have an app that staff in the ambulance and the Hospital could jointly use to start the admitting process while in transit.
Niagara asked ObjectSharp to revamp an app that was being built for that purpose. The ObjectSharp version now allows the Hospital staff to track how fast new ambulatory patients are being admitted. And together, ObjectSharp and the Hospital’s IT Team are now working to improve the speed and reliability of the information flows to the back-end hospital systems.
Bed Board Management System
Re-assigning Hospital beds to new patients is a key process that constantly changes throughout the day. As patients are discharged, their beds need to be quickly reassigned to new incoming patients. During the COVID pandemic, the fast reassignment of beds was even more critical. This process depends on many factors: when patients are planned to be discharged, when beds are unavailable, or when sudden changes in a patient’s condition changes their planned departure date. All of that information is key to knowing when and where the next bed will be available.
‘Bed Board Mgt Systems’ have always been an intensive manual process. Typically key information is manually tracked and displayed on big white boards at the nursing stations. Niagara asked ObjectSharp to help them build two new applications to speed up and automate that process. One was an app that replaced the manual white boards with a real-time Web Dashboard. That allowed the Hospital staff to more quickly and accurately visualize the current and planned bed assignments throughout the hospital. The other app was a Mobile tool that Hospital staff could use to view the Dashboard and collaborate with other departments, to more quickly come up with optimal bed assignments for incoming patients.
The new Web Dashboard interfaces directly with the back-end Hospital systems. So the data being displayed is based on the most up-to-the minute status assignments and availability of beds across the Niagara system. The new Mobile app also helps staff to also identify and remove barriers to discharging patients back to their families (eg; ‘we have no available wheelchairs here!’). Those barriers also prevent the release of beds for new incoming patients.
Together, these new apps make Hospital bed management a much faster process.
With the arrival of COVID 19, Hospitals were suddenly required to screen everyone entering their premises. That meant that before any visitors, support staff and even patients could enter the Hospital, they all had to fill out a new questionnaire to help Hospital staff identify anyone who may have recently been exposed to the virus.
In the Niagara Health System, that meant reviewing new questionnaires from up to 10,000 people a day! This put a huge new processing load on the Hospital staff. And it created long lineups of people completing and then waiting to have their questionnaires reviewed, before they could be cleared to enter the hospital.
That is when the Hospital IT staff turned to their software partners at ObjectSharp for help in quickly creating a new application to replace this manual and time-intensive screening process.