Productivity Improvements with Automation

The Clinical Dietetic Workbench
Improves & Tracks Productivity

Assess More Patients,
Increase Patient Care,
Automate to Track Work & Tasks

The Dietetic Workbench Increases RD Productivity

Within the workbench, screening for nutritional status is automated.  The screening process for the clinical nutrition department nationwide has improved, however many hospitals do not have filter support within EHR systems for streamlined screening and as a result continue to manually screen every morning within the department.  This task can amount to 60 minutes daily and most clinicians will wait to receive distribution prior to beginning assessments.  In a department that has 6 full time RDs this is a waste of a minimum of 42 hours per week.

% of Hospitals with Automated Screening

Automated Screening in Real Time 24/7 is what Menu Logistics Offers, Ensuring Patient Status is Captured and Reassessments are Scheduled.  The opportunity is huge as most hospitals today continue to conduct manual screening which is only completed once daily in the AM hours.

The Dietetic Work Bench Decreases Assessment Completion Time

While automated screening triggers an increase in assessment completion, assessment completion triggers an increase in intervention at a much faster rate.  All because the system is built to pre-populate information for the RD within the assessment tools, the productivity tracker and the intervention communication methods.  Pre-built with all reference materials and interfacing pertinent documentation that typically requires the clinician to search and re-type into their assessments; using the system saves the dietitian time and guarantees to reduce assessment completion time by 25%. In addition, because of the automation and availability of tablet use for assessment completion, all work can be carried out at bedside, improving clinical nutrition patient care by increasing face to face time with patients.  Dietitians are then able to use their expertise in other areas such as capturing essential data for the purpose of billing, attending VIP rounding, sitting on clinical boards to envoke change in policies within the department and participation in continuing education opportunities to ensure credentials are maintained.
As health care continues to change and new models of care are introduced, food and nutrition services managers will need to consider innovative approaches to improve productivity that are consistent with their individual health care organization’s vision and mission. Use of process improvement tools such as Lean and Six Sigma as strategies for evaluating and improving food and nutrition services efficiency should be considered. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2015;115:1141-1147

Food and nutrition services administrators are being continually challenged to improve the productivity of their operations. This pressure will likely increase with the uncertainty in the health care field created by the Affordable Care Act and changing models for health care services. Traditional single-factor measures of productivity that linked a single input and output continue to be used by food and nutrition services administrators to assess various productivity outcomes in their units. Such measures provide a way for internal trend tracking, but are likely less effective comparisons with other institutions because of the increased complexity and uniqueness of individual departments. The use of multifactor productivity measures has been reported, but because of complexities in use, these have not been widely adopted. Combining multiple productivity measure when assessing operations can help managers better address the polarity in values that often exist in operational decisions. Use of internal benchmarking is encouraged because it provides a way for food and nutrition services managers to monitor and track operational improvements over time. Managers should also consider use of process improvement tools such as Lean and Six Sigma as strategies for evaluating and improving the efficiency of food and nutrition services.