• A team of eight clinicians from the Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit (CTICU) at NHCS redesigns a new drip stand to facilitate a better transportation process
  • New drip stand has eliminated additional manpower and reduced transportation time by 30 per cent
High patient volumes are part and parcel of the NHCS, but who would have thought that a properly designed drip stand can save more than 400 hours spent moving patients around the building?

A team of eight clinicians from the Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit (CTICU) provided the practical but effective solution.

“The drip stands become heavy and unstable when they are laden with syringe pumps. We often get feedback from clinicians who tell us that it is difficult to move the bed and the drip stand together,” said Senior Nurse Manager Ismail Sheriff.

With only three to four small wheels supporting its weight, the drip stand can be especially difficult to manoeuvre in narrow passage ways. The clinicians also have to be cautious during movements to prevent themselves from tripping.

This seemingly routine procedure can get more complex when it comes to handling patients from the CTICU, as they are critically-ill patients who have undergone major surgeries.

“These patients need a lot of medication that require equipment such as breathing apparatus and monitors. When we transport them, we have to transport all the equipment as well,” explained Nurse Clinician Tok Kim Lian.
Other than mobility issues, clinicians also expend time when they have to transfer the numerous syringe pumps from the bed pole to the drip stand.

In view of these longstanding problems, the CTICU team decided to work on a redesign. After three months of trials, the team came up with a five-legged drip stand that serves to enhance safety and efficiency.

Overall, the new drip stand has reduced additional manpower and shortened the time taken to move patients by more than 30 per cent.

The new drip stand no longer needs to be held during transportation as it can be raised when secured to the bed with a detachable bar. It also comes with foldable wheels to prevent the caregivers from tripping.

The team further collaborated with doctors to minimise the number of syringe pumps needed, and the syringe pumps are now attached to the drip stand from the onset to eliminate the need for transfer during movements.
Since the new drip stands were rolled out in September 2014, more have been procured for use at the CTICU and PACU.   The project has won the merit award at the Singapore Health Quality Service Award and a gold at the National IQC (Innovation and Quality Circle) convention.

“The CTICU is a place that is constantly in motion. We who work here also have to be moving towards improvement all the time,” said SNM Ismail.

“It feels good to be part of a team that can effect change for the better. Now, we are looking into other ways to improve work processes and patient safety.”

The CTICU team comprises NC Tok Kim Lian (leader), SNC Ismail Sheriff (facilitator), Ag SNM Goh Sye Lin, NC Yeoh Lee Shien, NC Tan Sin Yain, NC Chia Tat Jin, SSN Mary Jane Poticar and A/Prof Goh Meng Huat.   This project was featured in the May 2015 issue of EPIC Heroes.