Hospitals are using data, tech to make decisions as beds fill up

By November 13, 2020 December 13th, 2020 News

U.S. hospitals and health system executives are relying on technology to make key decisions as COVID-19 surges.

New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based Northwell Health extended its agreement with TeleTracking Technologies, a capacity management and command center technology company, to centralize operations at the system’s 19 hospitals. Northwell realized the importance of coordinating response efforts during the first surge of COVID-19 patients in the spring.

The partnership will help Northwell map long-term patient flow and allow the health system’s leaders to see bed count data across the whole system. Northwell will also use the technology to make bed turnover processes more efficient, reduce patient delays and automate workflows. Staff will be able to speed patient access to the right level of care and identify patient flow bottlenecks.

The University of Colorado Health has deployed new technology for improving inpatient bed throughput. The Aurora-based health system implemented iQueue from Lean TaaS to develop bed capacity reports, which had been run manually. The health system reported saving about 60 minutes per day per supervisor with the technology because leaders spend less time reporting on the data and more time solving capacity issues.

“The tool has been instrumental in navigating COVID census and patient flow across our system in different ways,” said Jamie Nordhagen, director of capacity management and patient representatives at UCHealth. “Now that we can accurately predict where we will be in the evening and the following day, we have been able to more actively use our surge space only as needed, ultimately creating more capacity within our organization when there is demand.”

Vizient also has been leveraging its network of hospitals to coordinate care responses and best practices. The company hosts weekly calls that include members of 500 to 1,000 hospitals sharing their experiences and best practices, according to D Magazine. Hospitals can use the company’s technology to manage costs and analyze data for a more coordinated response as new hot spots emerge.

Vizient works with about 95 percent of academic medical centers and 20 percent of ambulatory care centers in the U.S. The company also developed a dashboard with case volume data and a PPE use calculator.