Mission control: Coming to a hospital near you?

Published: Feb. 14, 2020 at 4:04 PM EST
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AdventHealth in Florida has opened a 12,000-square-foot operations center that uses artificial intelligence to coordinate patient care among its eight Florida hospitals.

This new trend in medicine inspired by the space program is streamlining health care.

Think of the expertise, coordination and manpower NASA needs to blast a rocket into space.

AdventHealth's Mission Control operates on the principles of precise timing, too, but the goal is to maximize efficiency in health care.

"We were experiencing patients that were waiting long times in our ED. We had delays in our procedures and operating rooms because we couldn't get our beds turned over and get them placed into in-patient beds," Mission Control Executive Director Penny Porteous said.

Using new technology developed along with GE Healthcare, a team of nurses, emergency medical services personnel, and flight dispatchers and transport technicians man the center 24 hours a day.

"If you were a patient, the last place you want to be is waiting," Porteous said.

Tiles are used to represent a patient – someone who has been admitted to the emergency department or who will need a bed or a transfer. The technology allows staff to see openings in real time across the eight facilities in three Florida counties.

"Instead of being reactive, we can be proactive," Mission Control medical director Dr. Sanjay Pattani said.

Administrators say so far, Mission Control has enabled the system to drop wait times from admittance to finding a bed by one full hour. Instead of turning patients away during peak times, AdventHealth admits 15 more patients a month.

"This is just the beginning. We have started something that will continuously evolve," Pattani said.

AdventHealth was not the first U.S. hospital to adopt the mission control centers. Johns Hopkins and Oregon Health Hospital were among the first, and 10 other hospital systems will be soon be implementing the command center approach.




REPORT: MB #4703

BACKGROUND: There are over 35 million admissions to American hospitals each year. Nearly half occur through the emergency department. If a patient is directly admitted, patient flow is better, there are shorter ED wait times and an improved quality of care. Admission to inpatient care requires coordination between physicians, nurses, registration staff, and others. There is a 15 percent drop in patient satisfaction if wait times rise from 5 minutes to 30. Other problems include communication breakdown, for example, patients arriving without physician orders or an advance notice causing the admit desk to hunt down the paperwork. (Source: https://www.healthcatalyst.com/success_stories/inpatient-admission-process-thibodaux)

THE SOLUTION: Some ways to help ease frustration include letting patients know how long they would be waiting, a personal apology from the doctor, which minimized frustration for 70 percent of patients and allowing patients to see another doctor. Hospitals can also gather information before the patient's scheduled appointment, delegate documentation to other staff members, use mobile apps for lines, encourage them to use the patient portal and split tasks into serial or parallel processes. (Source: https://www.healthecareers.com/article/healthcare-news/15-ways-to-reduce-patient-wait-times)

AHEAD TO THE FUTURE: Some hospitals have taken a different approach. Hospitals in places such as Tampa, Toronto, Canada, and New York have created command centers. The first opened in 2016 at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Tampa General Hospital recently opened their command center which overlooks 1,010 beds and is focused towards advance care coordination and enhancing patient safety and quality along with improving efficiency. Yale New Haven Hospital opened their Capacity Command Center which is combining real time data analytics with colocation of key operations services to enhance safety, timelessness, and quality. There are another ten new command centers that are in development that will be serving 30 hospitals. Dr. Pattani says that this system has cut down manual processes and s automated decision-making. (Source: https://www.healthleadersmedia.com/innovation/move-over-star-wars-hospital-command-centers-take-spotlight and Sanjay Pattani, MD)