Operator task scheduling and guidance

One of the problems that older adults and newcomers face at work is the adaptation to a changeable working environment, which could come from many different factors: new computer and machine interfaces, new devices, new procedures and workflows, new business line and markets, etc. An incorrect introduction of these changes in the working environment can cause an improper assimilation of concepts, and it could cause demotivation and low productivity, especially in older employees.

The workflow for operators in medical environment (nurses, laboratory technicians, physicians, and others) comprises very complex procedures with many factors that influence the execution of tasks, such unexpected events that make difficult to accomplish a pre-organized plan. Informal process at hospital is very common. For instance, short disruptions of daily tasks of nurses are usual in hospitals. When the number of small interruptions outweighs the amount of planned work done in a given hour, the impact translates into slower progress, lower job satisfaction, and potentially lower quality of care. Furthermore, the above can lead to operator errors, which can put patients at risk.

Figure 1. Elderly nurses working in a medical environment.

On the other hand, we note that workflow technology has expanded substantially into the industry over the last year. Companies are embracing this technology as a means to improve operational efficiency, achieve safety goals, and positively influence the quality of their services. This technology increases and strengthens the collaboration between the business process and the operators.

The aim of our AdCoS is to ease the development of workflow solutions for hospitals focused on the following aspect:

  • Helping to proper staff tasks assignment.
  • Providing real time instructions – trigger alarms – reminders and check points.
  • Optimizing the workflow and cooperation with the rest of operators.
  • Providing feedback to the platform for further adjustment.

Given the broad scope of the workflow, we have focused on a subset of casuistic. The development of our application was focused on a prototype implementation of a dynamic workflow system that helps care personnel to carry out their daily tasks and that accomplishes these basic functionalities:

  • Helping to assign/re-assign tasks to operators.
  • Giving context-aware instructions to operators.
  • Providing different user interfaces for different devices: tablet, smartphone and smartwatch.

The care personnel are provided with an Android smartphone or tablet where the “HoliApp” application is installed (see Figure 2) allowing the reception of real time information from the workflow system. In this application, the operator has to be registered in order to receive custom information about available tasks, assigned task, information about how to proceed with the task, work done history, user profile, etc.

Figure 2. HoliApp application

Moreover, we also provide another tool to the hospital administrator with the enough infrastructure for the monitoring and configuration of the workflow system (task and workflow status, task assignment, user management, etc.), via web technology (see Figure 3).

Figure 3. Hospital Workflow Management Tool