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Patient Tracking Board eases family worries

Paitent Tracking Board

Barb Harwood-Gendron worried about her mother while she was in surgery, but she worried less when she could follow her mother’s progress on the new Patient Tracking Board.

Barb Harwood-Gendron worried less when she could follow her mother’s progress through surgery, and know once she got to the recovery room, on the new Patient Tracking Board installed in the Surgical Suite Family Lounge at the Civic Campus.

“It gave me an idea of where she was, without them having to run out and tell me,” said Harwood-Gendron. “I would have been sitting worrying. It doesn’t eliminate it, but it subsides.”

The new boards were installed in the spring at the General, Civic and Riverside campuses, and allow family and friends to get updates, such as when the anesthesic started, when the procedure started, when the patient arrived in the Post-Anesthetic Care Unit (PACU) and was discharged.

Patient privacy is preserved because the board shows only the patient tracking number that’s given to family members. So far, the boards are for surgical day care and same-day admission patients only. Emergency and inpatients will be added during Phase 2.

Family Board Snip Image

Family members waiting in the lounge can see on the Patient Tracking Board when the anesthesic started, when the procedure started, when the patient arrived in the Post-Anesthetic Care Unit (PACU) and was discharged.

Joanna Schubert, Clinical Manager, said staff had been considering the idea for a while, and then a grateful patient donated the funds, through The Ottawa Hospital Foundation, that allowed the boards to be developed. Jules Sigler was so impressed by the excellent care he received, that he wanted to show his appreciation in a meaningful way for both patients and staff.

As well as families, nurses in PACU like the boards, and “found they have enhanced the patient experience as they are now aware that their families can digitally follow them,” said Charles Mann, Clinical Care Leader for PACU and the Surgical Day Care Unit at the Civic Campus.

“A few family members have said they like to watch the progress of their loved one through their surgery day,” said RN Stephanie Wood, who works in the PACU. “It has given back some control to family members who are going through this stressful time. And, it has decreased the number of calls to our clerk regarding ‘Is my family member out of surgery yet?’”

“One nurse overheard a family member on the phone saying ‘No need to come in. They have this great tracking board that’s awesome. I’ll call you when the surgery is done’,” said Schubert.

Family members can find out more about the boards on campus-specific information sheets that answer frequently asked questions. They can also continue to ask the clerk any other questions.


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