A new 192-room patient bed tower was constructed and designed with a new decentralized nursing model. Included in this was the decentralization of medication, linen and medical supply storage to 'nurse servers' — storage cabinets housed inside every patient room, with access for nurses from a door inside the patient room and access for stocking technicians from outside the patient room (in the hallway). The nurse server introduced a brand new process for multiple departments at Lutheran General Hospital, including nursing, materials management, environmental services and pharmacy. In order for it to be used with maximum effectiveness and efficiency, a series of new processes needed to be designed, and key decisions needed to be made regarding the inventory to be stocked inside the nurse server.
A multi-disciplinary team of 25 frontline associates and managers came together, representing 12 different units and departments within the hospital. Clinical managers from each of the 6 units moving into the bed tower, along with medical supply, linens, environmental services and pharmacy managers were on the team and served as the process owners.
The team identified:
- The key processes that needed to be designed for the nurse server, and
- The inventory that would be stocked in the nurse server.
Working in smaller multi-disciplinary sub-groups, the team designed, refined, and tested those processes. Testing was completed first in the 'mock' patient room that had been built inside the existing hospital, and second on the first fully completed unit in the new bed
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