UCHealth is an integrated healthcare delivery system serving Colorado, southern Wyoming, and areas of Nebraska. The system consists of 12 hospitals with a total of 1,997 inpatient hospital beds and performs over 141,000 admissions and observation visits per year.
The analytics tools UCHealth relied on to manage inpatient throughput, created internally, pulled from an extensive amount of data and highlighted users’ knowledge and expertise. But these required daily labor-intensive preparation and did not provide managers and frontline workers with the real-time information they needed to make important decisions about patient placement and patient flow. They were also not equipped to provide predictions of what would happen in the future. As a result, the daily process of managing inpatient capacity was chaotic.
UCHealth needed a solution to eliminate guesswork from the inpatient decision-making process, to help teams manage today’s needs and strategize for tomorrow. Further, UCHealth was looking for a single source of truth for capacity management that could be shared in real-time across departments, clinical disciplines, and the health system as a whole.
Before the onset of COVID-19 made inpatient management especially critical, UCHealth had already partnered with LeanTaaS to implement iQueue for Inpatient Flow. The flagship University of Colorado Hospital went live with the solution in February 2020, and UCHealth implemented new processes and structures to support user adoption of the technology.
Using iQueue’s predictive analytics tools, UCHealth inpatient staff became quickly able to plan for future admissions and discharges, balance beds across the network, hospital, and unit, and make data-based decisions to ensure the right patient was placed in the right bed at the right time. They also used iQueue to support unique strategies, such as assigning appropriate primary and secondary units for patient placement, to keep capacity flexible during times of unpredictable surges.
iQueue for Inpatient Flow was expanded to the 11 remaining UCHealth hospitals through October 2020. Patient flow metrics noticeably improved, and the solution continues to drive alignment across the UCHealth network to facilitate patient flow and throughput. Across the system, the daily chaos associated with a previously manual and labor intensive process has significantly decreased, while inpatient metrics have improved.