A patient’s health care journey can be a long one, with many stops along the way.
Thankfully, patients have the help of bed allocators like Nicole Holle to help them when their care involves Grand River Hospital.
Nicole is a member of the hospital’s award-winning bed allocation team. They’re responsible for making sure patients admitted or transferred to the hospital or discharged to other facilities have their needs tended to.
Bed allocators have to work quickly to manage the nearly 600 beds that GRH operates across 15 clinical programs and services hosted at our Freeport and KW campuses.
Nicole uses her experience throughout GRH to make sure patients get the right care in the right place. ---
How long have you been at GRH? How did you come to work at the hospital?
I have worked at Grand River Hospital for 10 years. My passion was to find a job where I could make a difference.
My mom is an employee at the hospital and suggested I apply for a position. I was hired on as part time and worked in health information management, then secured other positions within the hospital as clinical secretary in ICU, cancer centre and patient registration until I obtained a full time position in bed allocation.
Can you take us behind the scenes and tell us how a bed allocator works?
As a bed allocator we have to interview patients from the emergency department to ensure their information is correct so we can assign the most appropriate bed and service for the patient, as well as identifying the patients preferred accommodation suitable for their admission.
We also transfer admitted patients within the hospital, process discharges and repatriate patients from other hospitals and out of country. We also are responsible for updating a provincial tool that helps us indicate when we have available beds, so we can bring patients back to Waterloo Region from other hospitals.
What’s the most interesting part of the job for you? Why do you like it?
I enjoy being a bed allocator and interacting with the patients as well as the staff on the inpatient departments. By listening to their needs and concerns I facilitate the best options for staff and their patients.
I always make sure I have a smile on my face no matter how hectic situations are and try to make the admission process as simple as possible, even though I am only a small part of the admission journey.
What keeps you on your toes?
We are the liaison between other hospitals, interacting with physicians, inpatient floor staff and volunteers. It can be very demanding and stressful at times, and being able to multi task is a skill needed for this position.
It is crucial to patient access and flow within the hospital, that admissions be processed in a timely manner to ensure every patient is given the best possible care, and that all departments can carry out their role for our patients during their admission.
By previously working in the ICU as a clinical secretary, it helps me understand all the dynamics that go with an admission and the importance of the process.
What keeps you going day-to-day?
Working in bed allocation is a team effort and all were honoured to be recognized for our contribution to Grand River Hospital for being awarded the team award of excellence.
Having a clear role and responsibility and knowing our duties makes our job so much easier. We’ve also been fortunate to have had many opportunities through our manager for growth and development.