The goals of the project were to allow hospital management to gain more insight into their time performance when it comes to emergency care; to motivate hospital and ambulance staff to keep performing at the top of their game by giving them constant feedback; and ultimately, to ensure that patients with a stroke or a heart attack can get the treatment they need as fast as possible, when literally every second counts.
By far the biggest challenge was to create a system that would not just allow for quick insights, but that was flexible and complex enough to allow for the entire chain of emergency care. A patient needs to be tracked in time from call to ambulance to hospital to operating room, while also allowing for transport from a regional to an academic hospital for further, more complex treatment. The complete system eventually required me to design a total of 4 different tablet, mobile or web applications and 2 dashboard UI’s, to allow for different use case scenarios.
In the first year of use by the cardiology department of the LUMC, the percentage of accurately registered patient treatment times rose from 40% (when times were being registered manually by hospital staff) to 99%. The times themselves were also reduced by more than 20%, simply because the staff was better able to determine the most efficient routes through the hospital.
What started out in 2014 as a proof-of-concept prototype used in the Leiden University Medical Center, is now in the process of implementation in 9 different academic and regional hospitals and 3 ambulance organisations in The Netherlands, as well as several hospitals in the USA. The system is also used for a 3-year-long scientific research project, to determine how real-time performance feedback to ambulance & hospital staff can influence call-to-treatment times for acute stroke patients.