Yale hospital command center uses real-time analytics to drive efficiencies

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Yale New Haven Hospital has launched a command center that provides real-time data analytics so the healthcare organization can better manage patient capacity, operational processes and other critical decision making at the facility.

Developed jointly with electronic health record vendor Epic, the new center includes dashboards for clinicians and administrators with metrics such as bed capacity, bed cleaning turnaround time, patient transport times, delays for procedures and tests, as well as ambulatory utilization and quality and safety indicators.

The real-time dashboards—which are visible on the command center screens and are accessible to other staff—build on existing functionality in the Epic EHR, says Ohm Deshpande, MD, director of utilization review and clinical redesign at Yale New Haven Health System. He adds that the center is part of an ongoing initiative over the past five years to help Yale New Haven become a “high-reliability” organization.

“We realized that to be one of the premiere institutions in the country, we needed to have reliable operations from the frontlines to the back office,” contends Deshpande. “Recently, we’ve been experiencing enormous volumes in the hospital. Because we’re such a large and complex organization, we realized that there are significant opportunities to improve line-of-sight in real time to all different parts of our operations.”

Yale’s new Capacity Command Center leverages enormous amounts of operational data generated by its Epic EHR, enabling the delivery of the “right information to the right people at the right time” so that staff can react to changing conditions in the hospital in real time, according to Deshpande.

He adds that the center takes a “holistic” approach to operations, with staff representing different operational areas physically located one room in order to better solve problems and coordinate between bed management, emergency department, environmental services, nursing staff and patient transport. “The command center is our most recent attempt to really integrate and align those different parts of our organization.”

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As an example of improved coordination resulting in better quality and safety metrics, Deshpande points to the ability of the infection prevention staff to identify all patients in the hospital with Foley catheters so that they can review their charts, and then have discussions with clinicians about removing the catheters, the prolonged use of which can lead to urinary tract infections.

“It’s impacting our process improvement cycle radically and our real-time operational transparency,” concludes Deshpande. “We’re currently focused at the Yale New Haven Hospital but as we learn from it, our project plan has us expanding the dashboards, as well as the personnel capabilities, across all five hospitals that are currently in our health system.”

Yale New Haven Health includes Bridgeport, Greenwich, Lawrence+Memorial, Yale New Haven and Westerly hospitals.

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