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Today’s hospital command center: it’s virtual, mobile, and distributed

Kim Halbur

Product Marketing Manager LeanTaaS, iQueue for Inpatient Beds

Over the past several years, hospitals have adopted onsite command centers to centralize operations and improve quality control and coordination of care. Hospital command centers, often housed in one large room, are connection nodes for many functions, including managing patient flow, staffing, scheduling, communication of urgent updates and alerts, and even telemedicine, using a high level of predictive analytics. For the large health systems that can afford to integrate the technology, resources and operating power needed to run them, command centers have achieved significant results

Aside from overall cost in implementing, integrating and maintaining the technology, the use of physical command centers entails a number of drawbacks. They not only occupy valuable real estate that could be allocated to patient care, but also still function in a bit of a silo, albeit a very large one where data is shared across departments but not necessarily out to the front lines in a real-time, proactive manner. Due to their design and connection with the hospital’s EHR, command centers also send a lot of digital “noise” to clinical users, giving constant alerts and updates whether or not they are relevant. Overall, these physical operational command centers are resource and capital intensive. 

A virtual distributed command center is lighter, less capital intensive and can seamlessly support large hospitals and health systems 

A virtual distributed capacity command center can perform much of the same function as a physical command center or even enhance the function of an existing one. Virtual centers function entirely on predictive and prescriptive analytics mined from EHR data. Implementations are lightweight on IT and use cloud-based secure mobile technologies. As a result, they can be set up and be functional in a much shorter period of time. Compared with physical command centers, which centralize resources, virtual distributed command centers enable hospital leaders, managers, providers, and front line staff to access real-time data, across the entire health system, anytime, anywhere including on a mobile device. Because this is far less capital and resource intensive, the return on investment is much quicker. 

Supporting clinicians and staff at every step – without all the alerts

Physical operational command centers often send multiple alerts to all clinicians and staff who are linked into the system, exacerbating alert fatigue and clouding decision making ability. Conversely, a virtual distributed command center limits alerts to only those that are relevant or require immediate, effective action. For instance, a staff member can be alerted only when a patient is ready to be discharged and when they can take steps to that effect, thus helping that staff member prioritize their tasks and make choices that have clear and significant impact. This way, not only are clinicians and staff given clear direction for their day-to-day work, but they can also see and be encouraged by the visible results of everything they do.

Virtual distributed command centers are by definition mobile, able to deliver actionable information to frontline staff where and when they need it. Access to this information in the hands of the frontline staff, and at the bedside is empowering. Having this type of data in-hand also facilitates those critical “hallway” communications and collaborations among staff, so that the critical decisions will be informed decisions, made with agility. 

Already have an on-premise operational command center?  Please refer to the table below to see how LeanTaaS technology can augment an on-premise command center.

LeanTaaS Technology Compared with an Operational Command Center iQueue for Inpatient BedsOperational Command Centers
PeopleDelivers real-time actionable information and guidance 
Integrates/Incorporates Staffing and Patient Scheduling 
Enables timely provider to provider “hallway” communication
Processes & TechnologyUtilizes real-time operational data to refresh analytics
Makes prescriptive recommendations to open surge capacity, eliminate discharge barriers, accelerate internal transfers, place patients, etc.
Utilizes AI & ML to deliver hour-by-hour, unit-by-unit predictions over next 24-hours
Incorporates transport services, test results, and environmental services data 
Lightweight on IT, cloud-based, quicker time to value for capacity management, with a money-back guarantee
Integrates with clinical support systems, connecting multiple departments

 

What type of benefits can a virtual command center deliver? These include reducing time to complete ICU transfers, decrease in time to admit and a significant increase in confidence about critical decision-making.

To learn more about the technology supporting a virtual distributed command center, please visit here for a free ebook

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