We have a volunteer assignment at one of our campuses that is specifically set up for wheelchair rounding. The volunteer hunts for and redistributes wheelchairs throughout the hospital. They are likewise empowered to take broken chairs to Clinical Engineering for repair. Even then, I continue to get comments from other volunteers in Registration, Guest Services, etc. who mention the lack of wheelchairs, difficulties in getting units to give them up, etc. One of our campuses had looked into tracking software that would cause the wheels to lock (much like grocery store carts) but that never came to fruition due to the cost. We do have lock bars in place on all wheelchairs to make it harder to get them into vehicles. Otherwise, as Alice mentioned, we also use our wayfinders to round and redistribute when possible. Even then, units guard them like treasure. It seems to be a widespread issue for everyone.
Brooke, This is one of those age old questions in our field. I look forward to seeing other responses you may get. At our facility we have staxi wheelchairs at the lobby and in the ED. Volunteers at the lobby desk are typically the folks that do a "round up." The staxi wheelchairs are color coded so that volunteers know where to return. Other wheelchairs within the hospital are labeled as to what department they belong. As we know volunteers become keenly aware as to where staff may even be "stashing" wheelchairs. We also know that lack of wheelchairs has a direct impact on patient care, impact operational continuity, and the patient experience. There are some wheelchair tracking systems that are on the market, however I'm not familiar with anyone that has one or how effective they are Keep us posted on your findings.
Looking for guidance on how you manage wheelchairs in your facilities. Who is responsible for rounding these up and keeping them in their "assigned" areas? Any tips for tracking them and keeping them stocked appropriately?