In the ongoing battle against to keep wait times down, St. Joseph’s Hospital is taking a decidedly 21st Century approach.

On Friday, the hospital network rolled our a digital app — one that allows doctors, nurses and administrators to have patient tracking information in the palm of their hands — at its Charlton Campus.

Created by a developer in Waterloo, the VUE app allows hospital staff to monitor how many patients are waiting for beds, how long each patient has been waiting, and provides a notification for when a bed is about to become available.

Staff can view the information on a desktop computer, or wirelessly on a laptop or tablet.

Michelle Joyner, patient flow manager at the hospital, says the app has the potential to cut down significantly on wait times.

VUE app

Brenda Lubianecki, a registered nurse at St. Joseph's Hospital in Hamilton, consults the VUE app, a new patient tracking tool, on Saturday, Oct. 5. (Cory Ruf/CBC)

“In the emergency department, a bed that the patient is going to will be posted on this application,” she said, explaining how the system works.

“Currently, staff would have to make a number of phone calls to find out when that bed is actually ready. And now, that information will be automatically processed in this application, so staff can see it in real-time.”

As a result of this system, Joyner said, doctors and nurses will have more time to focus on patient care.

The VUE app, she added, will be extremely valuable for hospital brass as they decide how to commit resources during busy times of the year. 

“A really exciting feature of this application is we can monitor the entire hospital at one time,” said Joyner.

“It will allow us to do more proactive planning, especially when we get busy in the flu season. We’ll be able to monitor when bottlenecks are approaching and we’ll be able to make proactive decisions to ensure that there is capacity maintained in the hospital for patients who need our care.”

To see the VUE app in action, watch the video at the top of the page.