Faster laboratory operations improve patient safety. The application makes it easier to form an overview of the overall situation of sampling.
Area Product Owner
Kainuu, like many other wellbeing services counties, has a shortage of nursing and laboratory staff. Sampling ward rounds have been based on manual data recording, and reporting and receiving sample queries by phone consumes human resources.
The mobile application developed for sampling by Tietoevry and piloted by NordLab Kainuu enables patient identification and printing sample labels, as well as taking the samples and acknowledging them in real time. Patient data comes from the Lifecare system. In addition, the application’s monitor feature provides an overview of the situation of sampling.
NordLab is the provider of laboratory services in the Kainuu wellbeing services county, which is responsible for organising healthcare, social welfare and rescue services in the Kainuu region. NordLab is owned by four wellbeing services counties, and it provides comprehensive laboratory services in specialised medicine.Learn more about Nordlab
Fewer work phases thanks to real-time patient identification and sampling.
Patient safety is improved through double patient identification. The patient is identified both orally and with the application using the patient bracelet’s barcode.
Part of the mobile application, the monitor feature helps form an overview of the sampling situation at wards.
With the laboratory’s introduction of a mobile application for sampling developed by Tietoevry, NordLab Kainuu sampling functions underwent a significant change in 2019. Before that time, sampling labels would be printed in the mornings for the sampling ward rounds. Wards would be assigned to employees, who would then go on the ward rounds with the pre-printed labels and take the samples, after which they would return to the laboratory with the samples.
Now the ward round is carried out flexibly, and long lists and pre-printed labels have become a thing of the past. Medical laboratory scientists can see the overview of sampling in real time in the mobile application and can go help a colleague if necessary.
“The change has been complete in sampling ward rounds and on-call duty,” says Tarja Toivola, Service Manager at NordLab in Kainuu.
Response times were calculated based on the realisation of sampling, i.e., for example, from the beginning of the sampling ward round starting at seven in the morning to the end of the round. According to Toivola, the average duration of the round was about 1.5–2 hours.
“Overall, the morning ward round has sped up by about an hour. Previously, the goal in the morning was to get the samples sent forward by 10 a.m., and now we are usually done at 8.45 a.m.,” Toivola says.
Overall, the morning ward round has sped up by about an hour. Previously, the goal in the morning was to get the samples sent forward by 10 a.m., and now we are usually done at 8.45 a.m.
Service Manager, NordLab
One of the most notable features of the mobile sampling application is the double identification of the patient. The application can be used to read a patient’s information by scanning their ID bracelet in addition to asking the patients themselves. In this way, the sampling tubes are labelled immediately upon sampling.
“Double identification is a big thing. The mobile application also notices if there are several referrals for the same patient. In the past, this had to be manually looked up in the list. The solution improves patient safety immensely,” Toivola says.
Satu Sainio, a practical nurse working at NordLab, also praises the double identification.
“Scanning the barcode shows all patient requests in the mobile unit, allowing me to take all the necessary samples at once,” Sainio says.
Double identification improves patient safety immensely.
Service Manager, NordLab
Part of the mobile sampling application, the monitor feature provides an overview of the status of inpatient sampling. The benefits of the monitor are praised by both Toivola and Sainio.
“The monitor feature makes our work easier, because in addition to sampling personnel, people working with equipment, for example, can see at a glance the situation in the emergency room. This makes it easier to react if congestion starts building up, and offer help, for instance,” Sainio says.
“We have placed the application in a prominent location. We see the sampling situation throughout the day, and as the service manager myself, I can see, for example, the number of requests in the morning, based on which we can assess the resources necessary,” Toivola says.
Sainio points out that the overview enabled by the application also frees up working time and resources for other tasks.
“Being on call can be tedious at times if no requests are made. Since the application makes it possible to monitor the situation, the free time on call can be used for other work tasks, making work more efficient,” Sainio explains.
The visual mobile application has been easy to adopt. Feedback from the sampling personnel has been positive. According to Sainio, the latest colleague to be onboarded praised the clarity and simplicity of the application.
According to Toivola, most of the hospital’s internal sampling requests are fulfilled through the mobile application, but some of the requests still go through the basic terminal. In Kainuu, the sampling requests at the intensive care unit are still filed manually for now.
“The greatest challenge has been to teach customers to make requests, i.e., when they can be made and when they cannot. Not all requests can yet be made with the help of the mobile application, so one needs to take into account the type of sample and where to make the request,” Toivola says.
In-house data connections have sometimes posed challenges.
“But we have solved them by trying out which mobile device the application works best with.”
According to Sainio, the most important change is the easing of on-call situations.
“When working, for example, in a resuscitation room, there may suddenly be a need for additional samples by a doctor’s order. The mobile application makes it possible to receive the referral immediately. The application contains all the necessary information and, among other things, special considerations, such as if the sample needs to be protected from light or if it is a cold sample. This reduces the possibility of mistakes at work,” Sainio says.
At times the need for additional tests arises suddenly – the mobile application makes it possible to get a referral right away.
Practical nurse, NordLab
All in all, the application helps everyday life fundamentally, and professionals would no longer return to the way things were before.
“I am sure everyone can agree that we would not want to give this up. I could not imagine going back to the old system and printing with the computer,” Sainio confirms.