Think Hospital Clocks Don’t Matter? Think Again!

In the United States, there are many healthcare facilities that still do not have synchronized hospital clocks. Often times, battery-operated clocks or clocks that plug into the wall are bought from thrift or department stores are hanging up around the hospital. Each one of those clocks has a different time from one another. Not all of these different time displays are drastic – it may only be a second or a minute off. So, what’s the big deal if they aren’t exactly the right time?

A hospital is no place for the time to deviate. With malpractice suits at an all-time high, it is imperative that medical facilities get serious about ways to cut the number of lawsuits down. One of these ways is by implementing synchronized hospital clocks in their facilities. While having a synchronized clock may seem like something that would be overlooked, it’s vital to the hospital, as well as the welfare of the patient.

During the course of a typical day, hundreds of patients are scheduled to receive medicine routinely. And some of those patients rely on that medicine to be administered on time because if they don’t, they could exhibit adverse effects to their health. So if that cheap thrift store clock runs ten minutes slow or fast, and the nurses don’t realize that, the patient could receive their medication too soon or maybe even too late. Depending on the type of medication, it could prove to be a costly mistake to the hospital – especially if a lawsuit follows. That’s why it’s essential that hospitals have uniform time.

In the surgical units, operations are scheduled throughout the day. Many times, doctors will have three or more surgeries in a single day. When surgery is in session, often times it is the job of the anesthesiologist to make sure that anesthesia is administered properly based on how long the patient has been under. Having synchronized hospital clocks that runs accurate to the second can be crucial in determining the proper amount of anesthesia to provide a patient with during sugury.

One aspect of healthcare that differs from other industries is that the clock doesn’t stop for hospitals. They have to be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. During the course of the year, there will be times where the power may go out. Daylight Saving Time occurs twice a year too. What happens when that occurs? With cheap thrift store clocks, you likely have to go to each clock and reset it by hand, usually by synchronizing it with your watch or cell phone – both of which are most likely different than the clock down the hall. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a system that does this all for you? With synchronized hospital clocks, a master clock will take care of telling all the clocks in the hospital what time it is. It will handle Daylight Saving Time all by itself and resume like normal after a power failure.

We can’t stress enough how important it is for a healthcare facility to have synchronized hospital clocks installed. It’s a relatively small investment that will last for years, and compared with the costs of a potential malpractice or wrongful death suit, the cost is sometimes insignificant. Charge nurses, RN’s, doctors and staff will all operate on the exact same time. Isn’t it time for a change in your hospital?