Reducing patient gridlock

Life as a recovery room nurse is like Vancouver traffic, says Johanne Collazo from Lions Gate Hospital. If there’s an accident here or a delay there, all movement stops and there’s gridlock.

Hospitals encounter similar snags in the flow of patient care.

“We have such a difficult time in the recovery room getting our patients in or out; there are always delays, whether it’s getting information, an unforeseen circumstance, availability of the operating room or beds,” says Johanne.

She says one of the benefits of the Clinical & Systems Transformation (CST) project will be increasing this flow of movement.

From the time a patient walks through the door, our staff will have access to their information in real time using a powerful new clinical information system that is shared between VCH, PHSA and PHC. Having this electronic resource at our fingertips reduces the need to ask patients repeat questions, do duplicate tests or search for a patient’s chart.

Standardized clinical practices between the three Health Organizations will also contribute to safer and more streamlined care.

“It’s going to help patients move along more smoothly as they have their surgery,” says Johanne. “I’ll be able to quickly amalgamate all the information I need, chart it in a rapid manner and keep the patient safe at the same time.”

Johanne got involved with CST as a subject matter expert. One of her big tasks was collecting data on how the recovery room and operating room are run for electronic charting purposes. Although she hadn’t heard of the project before she was asked to take part, it didn’t take Johanne long to get on board.

“As soon as I read about it, I thought ‘Wow, this is going to be fabulous.’ I wanted to be part of this ground-breaking project.” 

Johanne knows it will be a huge change and it will take time to transition to a new way of working, while looking after patients. But she asserts that it will be worth it. 

Although post-anaesthetic patients won’t be battling Vancouver traffic on their way home, Johanne says they can look forward to a better experience at what is often a stressful time.

“I just foresee a more cohesive way of taking care of our patients in the recovery room. When CST rolls out at Lions Gate Hospital and we’re competent at doing our electronic charting, it’s going to help us take care of our patients in a safer, more streamlined way.”

You can download a printable version of this article: Reducing patient gridlock: Profile of Johanne Collazo(PDF).