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A bird's-eye view into many hospitals might resemble the start-stop quality of our nation's busiest expressways. Start losing the wait through real-time patient flow and logistics monitoring.
Few organizations generate as much data as a hospital. But most of that data – for obvious reasons – is clinical data necessary for individual patient care. Operational data is not only far more limited but also tends to be spread across multiple disparate systems which are difficult to integrate and not designed to work together.
As a result, managers do not have fully integrated tools to monitor workflow, identify bottlenecks –before or as they occur- and take action. Instead, managers are left to review data about historical bottlenecks, delays, cancellations and dissatisfied patients.
The same issues that produce waiting can lead to patient harm. The roots of patient harm are complex. In some cases, operational inefficiency leads to distractions, interruptions or inattention. That operational “noise” can contribute to the risks of patient harm – whether caused by poorly designed processes, inadequate information flow, a mass casualty event, or inaccurate information from untimely status updates –and prevent staff from doing the right thing, despite their best intentions.
GE believes that the emerging category of Hospital Operations Management (HOM) systems may hold the answer. Our HOM solution replaces disparate operational systems with a single control system that functions in a similar manner to an air traffic control system – acquiring, organizing and presenting data from multiple sources in a way that focuses the user on relevant performance characteristics and supplies the necessary information to keep operations running smoothly – across the enterprise.
Hospital operational data –if available at all – is often limited and exists in silos spread across multiple disparate systems. As a result, managers do not have fully integrated tools to monitor workflow, identify bottlenecks –before or as they occur- and take action. Moreover, there hasn't been a need for urgency to look at and solve these wait state issues. The end result: Patients wait to be admitted. Doctors wait for test results. Patients wait for treatment. Rooms wait to be cleaned. Nurses wait for doctors. Doctors wait for equipment. Patients wait for transport. Families wait for news. Patients wait to be discharged.
Today, however, with overwhelming cost pressures of impending changes to healthcare reimbursement and outcomes, it becomes impossible NOT to address the wait-states problem. And, technology advancements are changing to allow for new possibilities. Intelligent software platforms help create an environment where dynamic, real-time data collection and data integration occurs. GE’s HOM solution provides healthcare leaders with the ability to transform operations. Instead of making decisions with a narrow view of the current situation, HOM provides a complete picture –across the healthcare continuum -to decision makers working to bring the resources together to deliver great care. Imagine the impact if the no-wait state becomes the norm for hospital operations.
Imagine a time when the entire hospital functions as an integrated team … when variances and delays are the exception … when peaks and valleys of demand are encountered infrequently and managed proactively … when operational friction doesn't contribute to the risks of patient harm … when patients don’t expect to wait.
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