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What Works - Technology Transformation Drives Patient Care Improvements and Boosts Clinician Satisfaction

Gaylord Specialty Healthcare

Background
Gaylord Specialty Healthcare is a 137-bed long-term acute-care hospital (LTACH) located in Wallingford, Conn. Gaylord specializes in medical management and rehabilitation for patients who suffer from acute illnesses, chronic disabilities, or traumatic accidents. The average inpatient length-of-stay at Gaylord is typically 25 days due to the severity of the conditions being treated. Both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services are offered to support the needs of patients through every stage of recovery.Scope of Engagement

  • Technical Assessment
  • Interim CIO Executive Staffing
  • Technology Transformation

Challenges
In 2011, Gaylord Specialty Healthcare began an IT transformation initiative to support patient care improvements. At the time, outdated equipment and software solutions that were cumbersome for clinicians to use consumed precious time that could be better spent interacting with patients. Plus, the organization’s neglected hardware infrastructure couldn’t accommodate system upgrades or expansion to support Gaylord’s patient care strategies. Key challenges included patient monitor limitations and alarm fatigue due to outdated technology.

Solutions
Gaylord engaged Huntzinger Management Group (Huntzinger) to conduct a technology assessment and placed a Huntzinger executive as its interim CIO. Combined, these efforts drove a complete overhaul of how the IT department functions and supports the organization. Numerous solutions were replaced or upgraded to create a technology foundation that could be built upon to improve patient care.

Outcomes
The efforts of Gaylord and Huntzinger created a new IT culture that engages clinicians as the drivers behind IT decisions. Patient care and safety improvements include a new hardware infrastructure to support its EHR, a new nurse call system, a new telemetry system with centralized patient monitoring, as well as bedside computing and medication verification. Additionally, an integrated alarm management system routes alerts to the appropriate caregiver via new wireless phones and wireless network. The alarm management system will greatly reduce alarm fatigue and enable Gaylord to meet 2016 Joint Commission requirements. These infrastructure improvements provide the flexibility to support future enhancements.

“Gaylord needed an evaluation and consultation process to assess our strengths and weaknesses, so I brought in Huntzinger to focus our efforts and drive that change process.”

George Kyriacou
CEO
Gaylord Specialty Healthcare

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Topics: What Works Series