August 9, 2018

Is Bad Handwriting Ruining Your Call Schedules?

2 min read

Written by: Jennifer Michelle  |  Share:

Yolanda* was working the Friday night shift at the big city hospital where she had been a nurse for over 10 years. It had been a relatively easy night, but one of her patients wasn't doing as well as she would have liked.

His blood pressure was strong, but his O2 sat had dropped in the last hour and his H&H was still borderline.

Yolanda decided she needed to page the doctor on call. She walked up to the bulletin board in the call schedule room to see which doctor was on call that night.

That's where things got tricky.

The call schedule was a paper print-out that was posted on the wall, covered in post-it notes indicating changes. There were scratched out names and scribbles indicating swaps - in short, it was virtually illegible.

This came as no surprise to Yolanda, of course. She was used to the mess - all the nurse schedules were the same way.

She found the right date, looked at her shift, and peered at the name on the list. For the life of her, though, she could not make it out. They had a Dr. Richards, but also a Dr. Pritchard, and she simply couldn't tell from the scrawl that confronted her which doctor was the one on call.

She took a gamble and called Dr. Richards.

Good thing she wasn't in Vegas, though, because he was not on call, and he was not amused about being interrupted in the middle of - so she learned - the only night off he'd had all week.


So she called Dr. Pritchard, who was, indeed, the doctor on call, except now, thanks to the delay, the patient was in much worse condition.

Illegible call schedules can put your patients at risk.

The next morning, Yolanda's supervisor heard what had happened and decided enough was enough. The risk to patient health was too high, and totally unnecessary. It was time to look into alternatives to their existing scheduling system.

When they came to OpenTempo, we helped make sure that bad handwriting would never again cause them problems with their call schedules, or get in the way providing optimal patient care.

We set them up with our cloud-based solution, so their schedules could easily be seen from the computers in the call schedule room, as well as from their mobile phones and tablets. Now, the call schedule is always current, and always legible - and no more messy bulletin board.

The result? Patient quality control improved, and the lives of Yolanda and her fellow colleagues on the night shift got a whole lot easier.

*Names in this post are pseudonyms representing several of our customers who have come to us for help with this same situation.

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