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Florida’s health system gains insight from automation: It simplifies capacity management and makes it easier to work in a team.

Florida’s health system gains insight from automation: It simplifies capacity management and makes it easier to work in a team.

The management of inpatient capacity is a complicated balance act that involves coordinating bed availability, patient throughput, and staffing needs in one step. This allows for both real-time and future planning and ensures that the physical and human resources necessary to provide care are available.

During a March webinar hosted by Becker’s Hospital Review and sponsored by Hospital IQ, Jason Harber, COO and chief strategy officer at Hospital IQ, and Patti Canitano, division director of patient throughput at Health First, a four-hospital health system based in Rockledge, Fla., discussed the complexities of inpatient operations, showed how artificial-intelligence-enabled automation can decrease those complexities and shared how Health First implemented automation at scale across its system and the results it realized.

These are three key insights:

  1. It is extremely difficult to manage inpatient capacity because of numerous systemic problems. According to Mr. Harber limited capacity can lead to long wait times for patients, inefficient throughput can lead to delayed discharges, and unbalanced staffing may result in unmanageable workloads or increased turnover. “And just as we think we know the game, our patients start moving,” Mr. Harber explained. “They don’t only receive care from one area, they may also receive care from multiple areas every day. We have new patients, and others leave, and before you know, the systemic complexities create a very complex environment. It becomes clear why it’s so difficult to operate within this organization with a completely manual process for managing inpatient capacity. 
  2. Hospital IQ transforms the way that health systems work by dynamically managing staff, orchestrating staff actions, and eliminating operational silos. Mr. Harber explained that the first step was to establish a central repository for all operational data. “The next step is to be capable of predicting barriers at a macro level so that we can provide an ultimate level situational awareness to the company.” Next, you can use this information to motivate action. If Hospital IQ predicts that there will be an ICU capacity shortage tomorrow afternoon, staff can start to decompress the ICU immediately. He said, “That could be a very specific message to your case management, physician teams, or even the ICU leader.” This could include a focus on discharge efficiency, float pool planning, and systematic downgrades.
  3. Health First achieved its vision of proactive capacity control across its four-hospital system with Hospital IQ. Health First was determined to reduce patient discharge times. “Prior Hospital IQ, we had a very inefficient system and were unable to prioritize patient discharges,” Ms. Canitano explained. “We really didn’t have any visibility into what was happening at each hospital or the entire system.” 

Hospital IQ helped Health First to automate patient prioritizations and streamline care team communications. She said that case managers identify and add obstacles to discharge into Hospital IQ. This translates into daily work schedules for ancillary departments. It’s updated continuously throughout the day to ensure they’re focusing their attention on the right patient at a particular time. According to Ms. Canitano’s systemwide data, Health First saw a 6 percent reduction in length of stay across all hospitals. Hospital IQ also helped the system to repurpose 2,600 hours each week and reduce core staff floating 44 percent.

See Also

Health systems can harness the power of automation to improve capacity management with solutions such as Hospital IQ. This will allow them to increase revenue, margins, quality, and improve their staff work environment.

You can watch the webinar on-demand.Click here

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