The 4 biggest inefficiencies at hospitals and how to solve them

Silvia Pichler, 


Hospitals and healthcare institutions are increasingly looking for new ways to improve efficiencies and make more time available for core tasks. We’ll show you the four biggest inefficiencies at hospitals and how to solve them. These inefficiencies were identified by Becker’s:


  • Shortage of clinicians
  • Poorly managed patient flow
  • High readmission rates and
  • Poor communication


Shortage of clinicians

Clinical staff and physicians in the US have seen a shortage, which is continuing to increase over the next decade. According to a study by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) primary care physicians are expected to show a shortage of up to 43,100 physicians by 2030, specialty care providers one between 33,500 and 61,800.


The main reason for these striking numbers is the population’s increasing life expectancy and resulting increasing demand for physical care. Moreover, as one third of all US physicians will be over 65 years old and retire by 2030, supply will be hit by another foreceful blow.


The increased demand for clinical staff is not just limited to the US, however, but rather a global phenomenon. Already in 2017, the UK has registered a shortage of 20,000 nursing staff alone.


Efficient resource management

With physicians and nurses seemingly becoming rare valuable assets in the years coming, hospitals will have to rethink the way they operate. In addition to enhanced governmental funding to employ more personnel, managing existing human resources more efficiently becomes all the more important.


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Patient Flow

A lot of time is wasted on minor tasks that could be easily automated. With the above mentioned shortage of personnel, a self-managed hospital stay should be facilitated.

Waiting rooms, especially in the ER, are mostly overcrowded and waiting times unbearably long. Indoor Positioning provides an easy way to assist here.


The queue lining up at the admission counter can easily be alleviated by introducing a self-check-in system. This can be done via touchscreen kiosks, allowing multiple patients to check in at once.


What is more, patients often have trouble finding their way to the right treatment room and are late for their appointment. Sparse or confusing signage in combination with a huge building complex and uncountable corridors leave many patients with two questions, “Where am I?” and


This causes the physician to spend time they cannot spare on waiting for this patient.

The results can be the following:

  • Either the physician takes their time to work thoroughly, which leads to further delays for the other waiting patients that day, or…


Readmission Rates

  • The physician hurries and quality of the treatment decreases, which may lead to readmission later on.


Both of these are undesirable outcomes. In order to keep readmission rates low, quality of service and time management have to be optimized. This can be achieved by the following.


Indoor Navigation lets patients navigate through the hospital confidently on their own via mobile app, showing them exactly which turns to take to get to the right room. It allows them to plan their visit to the hospital ahead and calculate the time needed to get from A to B, which helps avoid delays.


What is more, navigating via mobile apps prevents patients from asking staff for directions, as they can rely on themselves. This way, staff aren’t bothered with providing directions and can use the limited time they have to focus on their core tasks instead.


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Patient satisfaction increases when staff can focus on their core tasks

The same goes for finding equipment. As mentioned in another blogpost, clinical staff spend approximately 20 minutes per shift to find medical equipment such as wheelchairs, wasting valuable time and money. Assets are often misplaced or stolen, making it hard for staff to locate when they need it.


With Indoor Asset Tracking via mobile device, any medical asset can be found on the mobile map within an instant and picked up in a matter of minutes. The time saved here can be put into taking care of patients to improve their service and quality of work.


This is where we’ve come full circle, as improved service quality will likely lead to a reduced readmission rate, as patients got the quality treatment they needed on their first visit.



According to Becker’s, more inefficiencies can be found in the lack of communication between personnel, which may also be a reason for bad patient flows and readmissions.

Shortcomings in wireless connectivity, outdated pagers, or general lack of technology can be the source of all evil.


Whereas pagers don’t allow for two-way-communication or escalating alerts, for instance, the mobile app provides a comprehensive framework to enable active interchange.


Discussing matters face-to-face is critical in medical institutions. Big buildings like hospitals make it hard to find colleagues at all times, though, and asking around proves as just as inefficient.


An Indoor Positioning and Navigation app enables personnel to locate each other on the map in the app and navigate to one another in real time. Knowing where to find specific colleagues at all times gives all personnel reassurance and can make them feel more at ease in case a colleague is needed for an incoming emergency.


On a more general note, communication between physicians and patients can also be facilitated substantially. Information concerning the appointment or treatment can be shared via mobile app, providing better transparency and comfort for patients.


Want to find out more about how hospitals can benefit from Indoor Positioning and Navigation?


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