Building Quality “Patient Journey” In Physiotherapy Department – Wheelchair Management System Revamping With Sustainable Staff Training

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Authors (including presenting author) :
Tang RSK, Lee SKF, Chan BTW, Leung KKL, Chan JSP, Wong EYW, Chen TMK, Chau RMW
Affiliation :
Physiotherapy Department, Kowloon Hospital
Introduction :
There is a high volume patient flow within physiotherapy department in daily patient care and rehabilitation service delivery. There are around 900 daily portering activities, involving a team of porters and more than 100 wheelchairs of different types to cater specific patient needs. A systematic and effective wheelchair management is necessary to ensure timely, safe and patient-centered quality rehabilitation service and asset security. On the other hand, the foreseeable supporting staff turnover because of retirement and resignation imposed an imperative need in quality assurance of this supportive service.
Objectives :
1) To review and improve portering wheelchair management system to optimizing patient safety and service efficiency. 2) To engage supporting staff by participatory training to sustain knowledge and skill transfer. 3) To enhance portering wheelchair asset security by augmented wheelchair identifiers and security control measures.
Methodology :
Frontline staff initiated with management-led Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Project was implemented in February 2018. A full review of portering wheelchair workflow, stocktaking of supporting staff proficiency and wheelchair maintenance quality checking were completed to identify improvement needs and follow-up actions. Enhanced wheelchair management work instructions, staff training, maintenance system and augmented wheelchair identifications were formulated. Staff engagement was accomplished by briefing, meetings, maintenance system revision preparations, feedback collection and structured training session. Monthly data analysis, evaluation and follow-up action were conducted by subject officer. Evaluation report was submitted to management for service improvement and resources planning.
Result & Outcome :
Firstly, a systematic wheelchair management system was in place with clear role-specific work instructions and staff training to ensure service quality. The centralized wheelchair database allowed more effective asset management and service planning. Secondly, wheelchair maintenance and repair system was updated with adaptation from local and overseas standards reference. Timely detection of wheelchair defects in maintenance scan provided better patient safety protection and service productivity. Thirdly, structured staff training was designed and incorporated into staff orientation and training to build up staff competency. Mentorship from experienced supporting staff facilitated on-job knowledge and skill transfer. Fourthly, the daily checking practice and augmented identifiers ensured asset security, thus upkeep an optimal and stable wheelchair pool to meet the operational needs. Lastly, the evaluation report measured the desired outcomes and facilitated management support in service improvement. To sum up this CQI project, an enhanced wheelchair management system was established with collaborative effort of supporting staff, professional staff and management for safe and comfortable patient portering.

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