Beth Woodvine is a Clinical Staff Leader in the House Supervisors and Staffing Department at MercyOne Des Moines. This blog is an edited version of a podcast with Beth Woodvine. You can listen to the full conversation in the player here: 

When the COVID-19 pandemic came to Iowa, MercyOne Des Moines put our plan into action. But one impact that we didn’t anticipate was that the non-COVID patient population would drop tremendously. It was probably around 20-30% of our typical census.

That meant we had nurses across departments who did not have patients to care for. We decided to address this unique situation by creating interdisciplinary teams who could work on different floors and different areas. Maybe not performing full RN responsibilities, but performing tasks which were within the scope of their expertise. These team members could assist other nurses and care techs by checking on patients, getting them water, helping them to the bathroom, or other tasks to help deliver personalized, excellent care.

In order to do this we needed a way to track these specialists accurately and a way to place them on various floors or in various units quickly and conveniently.

We reached out to Hospital IQ and explained what we were hoping to do. Within a day or two they added a new feature to our Staffing solution so we could label certain colleagues as “Tasking”. Now at a glance we could see who was assigned to Tasking, which floors or units needed Tasking team members added, and when we had Tasking staff scheduled or rotating in. We also had a simple way to communicate to colleagues where and when they would be assigned without having to make a bunch of calls. Hospital IQ made the update and pushed it right into the system; we didn’t have to do anything on our end besides start using it.

Our team developed the Tasking idea to help manage through the COVID-19 crisis, but we can see non-COVID uses for it too, such as a lower census day or different patient populations who need to have interdisciplinary care delivered.

Implementing this new process simply would not have been possible without Hospital IQ. It would have been way too time intensive to manage the staff schedule with paperwork and phone calls, and there would be no way to organize or track Tasking staff across all of the various departments. Trying to assign and notify our colleagues would’ve taken a very long time as well.

Hospital IQ has driven such great change across our staffing team in the last couple of years, and it’s great to have a partner that is so responsive and so quick when we needed something new.