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Transforming Care Together Initiative at Charleston Area Medical Center Increases Time Spent on Patient Care at the Bedside

BALTIMORE, July 22 /PRNewswire/ -- An efficiency initiative at Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC) is increasing the time nurses spend caring for patients and directly contributing to better overall patient care, reduced costs and decreased hospital-created illness.

The process improvement program, Transforming Care Together, initiated in September in conjunction with RWD(R) Healthcare, has increased patient care time at CAMC's Trauma Unit. With nurses spending more time caring for patients at the bedside, pressure ulcers - also known as bedsores - have been reduced to zero for the last two quarters, which used to be as high as seven percent within the unit. Patients unable to change position in bed are at increased risk for bedsores, which may lead to complications due to infection.

In addition, as a result of implementing this initiative, staff turnover has significantly decreased from 33.8 percent to 12.9 percent. Coupled with a 28 percent reduction in overtime, the hospital has achieved a cost savings of $240,000.

"Nurse turnover is always a concern because it interrupts the flow of patient care and requires an additional investment on the hospital's part in recruiting and training new nurses," said Glenn Crotty, Jr., M.D., FACP, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Charleston Area Medical Center. "Working with RWD, our nurses are helping themselves make more time to spend with patients. That directly impacts staff satisfaction and keeps our team motivated and positive."

To achieve increased patient care time, RWD consultants are working with CAMC staff to identify critical administrative tasks that could be completed more efficiently. Using pedometers to measure how many steps nurses are taking during their daily routines, RWD and the Transforming Care Together team are identifying ways nurses could save time by taking fewer steps to complete the same tasks.

One central supply room with access from both patient care hallways instead of the six supply areas that previously existed is allowing nurses to spend less time searching for supplies and more time with their patients. Changes such as this have contributed to saving over 3.5 million steps per year, the equivalent of more than 1600 miles.

A posted checklist known as kamishibai cards is used by all nurses and multiple layers of management to ensure that necessary audits for appropriate signatures on patient charts and proper environmental conditions are completed efficiently and on a regular basis, resulting in reduced wasted time and better quality care.

"In a time when hospitals are facing severe economic pressures, the work at CAMC is a testament to the notion that efficient practice makes high quality care a reality," said Jim Parish, executive vice president, Healthcare Practice at RWD. "CAMC's leadership should serve as a model for other hospitals to follow for empowering their staff in the pursuit of optimal care delivery that puts patients first and strengthens the hospital's standing."

For more information about the process improvement services RWD(R) Healthcare offers hospitals, visit

About RWD(R) Healthcare

The RWD(R) Healthcare practice works with hospitals across the country to free both their people and their funds for better patient care. RWD's "Lean" approach to process improvement starts with a focus on people, working hand-in-hand with hospital staff to implement change that lasts. RWD process improvement solutions address challenges in critical areas of the hospital such as emergency department patient flow, perioperative services management, staff training and retention and core measure performance. To learn more, visit:

About Charleston Area Medical Center

Charleston Area Medical Center is the flagship of the CAMC Health System. CAMC is a non-profit, 838-bed, regional referral center with more than 5,000 employees. More than 600 physicians have admitting privileges at CAMC which is also West Virginia's premiere medical teaching facility, hosting, on any given day, more than 500 students in programs leading to degrees or certifications in health professions. CAMC is home to one of the top heart programs in the United States; the only kidney transplant center in the state; West Virginia's only free-standing Women and Children's Hospital; and one of the busiest Level I Trauma Centers. For more information, visit

About RWD Technologies, LLC

RWD is a leading provider of human and operational performance improvement solutions that help employers maximize the return on their investments in people, processes, technology, equipment, knowledge and customers. Since 1988, RWD has assisted clients and partners in enhancing organizational productivity through its broad range of integrated products and services, which include human capital management and IT consulting services, business transformation and lean process improvement, end-user training, change management, knowledge management and operator effectiveness management. RWD's solutions are used in thousands of organizations globally, and in industries such as manufacturing, energy, automotive, aerospace, healthcare, life sciences, consumer products, financial, telecommunications, services, higher education and the public sector.

Based in Baltimore, Maryland, RWD serves Fortune 500 and other organizations around the world. RWD is privately held, with more than 1,000 employees in offices in the United States, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, United Kingdom, Austria, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Switzerland, UAE, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Kazakhstan. For more information, please visit

Copyright (C) 2009 RWD Technologies, LLC. All rights reserved.

RWD Technologies and RWD are registered trademarks of RWD Technologies, LLC in the United States and several other countries. All other names are or may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

    Media Contact:

    Edelman for RWD:
    Ilana Tabak

SOURCE RWD Healthcare
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