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Karmanos Cancer Institute Seeks to Eliminate Bottlenecks Via RTLS

The center's new clinic has begun using Versus' real-time location system to track the location and status of patients and staff members, with the goal of improving patient flow and reducing wait times.
By Claire Swedberg
Jun 08, 2012The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, a Detroit, Michigan, center solely devoted to treating cancer, has implemented a real-time location system (RTLS) provided by Versus Technology at its newly opened Dresner Family Clinic for Hematologic Malignancies and Bone Marrow Transplantation, to help manage the flow of patients and employees. The Karmanos Cancer Institute expects to eventually extend the system to other sections of its facility as well, according to Valerie Fred, the clinic's operations support specialist, and its administrator of the Versus solution.

The Detroit site—one of 41 facilities designated as cancer centers by the National Cancer Institute—serves nearly 6,000 new patients annually. The center strives to find ways in which to improve services, says Kathleen Fedoronko, Karmanos' executive director of patient care services. In that effort, she says, it conducted a survey of patient satisfaction in 2010.

"Our wait times were not as short as we wanted them to be," Fedoronko says. As a result, the hospital began examining ways to gain a better understanding of patient flow, as well as where bottlenecks may occur.

The hospital's management chose to install the RTLS solution and take it live with the March 19 opening date of the new clinic, which is dedicated to bone marrow and stem cell transplant and hematological malignancies. The Versus system provides patient status data to staff members in real time, in order to improve efficiency during their visit, and to capture historical data, thereby enabling the facility to gain insight into ways that it can further improve operations. Because the new clinic incorporates both bone marrow and hematology units that had previously been housed separately within other sections of the building, the technology can also help the staff track patient flow and employee movements, in order to ascertain the success of transitioning the two departments to the new location.

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