Operation STAT Follow-up
Earlier this year, we discussed how Barcoding, Inc. provided barcode scanners and software for a mock disaster at Towson University. This annual emergency training simulation event, Operation STAT, provides students with hands-on emergency training in coordinating victim treatment.
The results of this simulation, which involved a fictitious plane crashing into Johnny Unitas Stadium, are in!
In previous years, Towson did not have the ability to measure the success of student performance in treating victims in Operation STAT. It was unclear if victims with more sever “injuries” had to wait just as long as those with minor injuries.
Towson University needed a way to track patient flow throughout the exercise and ensure that everyone was treated correctly in a timely manner. This would document the success and accuracy of Operation STAT, but also set benchmarks and goals for future events.
Barcoding, Inc. worked with Towson’s College of Business and Economics to develop a patient-tracking solution consisting of mobile computers, barcoded wristbands, and custom-built software built on Barcoding’s proprietary development platform.
At the beginning of Operation STAT, victims checked-in and received a card with their affliction along with a correlating barcoded wristband. The wristbands were scanned with Motorola MC7090s, which automatically entered data about the victim and his/her degree of affliction into the software application. The nursing students and victims were not informed of the degree of injury in order to test the staff’s accuracy.
Nursing students determined the type and extent of victim injuries and assign them to a treatment area from red meaning most severe, to yellow, to green. Wristbands were scanned once victims reached their assigned treatment area, and then once again after receiving treatment.
The supply chain management students at Towson were able to successfully capture performance data at each of the tracking areas. From there, they analyzed the collected data to gauge how long victims spent waiting for treatment, the amount of time it took to apply treatment and whether or not students were assigned to the correct treatment area.
By using barcoding technology, not only was the success of Operation STAT able to be measured, but it also provided students hands-on experience in implementing and using barcode technology, which is crucial in today’s healthcare industry.
“Next year we will be able to compare patient flow data to see whether our efficiency improved,” said Tobin Porterfield, program director, supply chain management, Towson University. “Barcoding, Inc., gave our students the opportunity to work with this technology, firsthand, and see how it can apply in the real world. That is something you can’t teach in a classroom.”