Leveraging Operational Intelligence to Transform Healthcare Processes

Mar 11, 2016 · 4 min read

Industry estimates project some 440,000 Americans will die this year due to preventable medical errors. That’s the population of Raleigh, NC.

Meanwhile, spending on healthcare IT — largely centered on clinical and EHR system investment — has been on the rise and is still growing faster than the U.S. economy, estimated between now and 2019 at 4.8 percent. Healthcare is spending more on clinical record systems in the hopes of improved efficiency and outcomes, but the industry still suffers significant losses.

This is a disconnect worthy of re-diagnosis and the creation of a new treatment plan.

First and always, let the healers heal

Distractions, interruptions and administrative burdens all are root cause contributors to errors because they diminish the amount and quality of time that physicians and nurses spend caring for patients. Regulations, procedures and even software applications address episodic portions of patient care, while the overall experience for care providers and patients continues to cause frustration and harm. Physicians and nurses are repeatedly forced to interrupt the delivery of care to access systems and key in data at a keyboard. And patients wait…not only in rooms interestingly designed just for waiting, but also in exam rooms, corridors and for lab results and prescriptions.

Current systems are producing wait time and not enhancing workflow or efficiency, and we need to call that what it is: non-value added time and by lean definition — waste. Time nurses and physicians spend searching for equipment, patients or other staff is time away from the bedside. And the bedside is where detecting both obvious and subtle changes in patient condition has been proven by multiple studies, including the Institute of Medicine, to be markedly life-saving.

Data capture should be automatic, not keyed in

It is past time to push our industry and each other to insist on innovations in end-to-end design of care delivery systems and experiences using automated processes. Workflows which overwhelmingly require caregivers to pause and enter data for the capture of care milestones are not automated. Instead, health systems need operations that leverage automatically collected location data. This way, whenever a nurse enters a patient room, the time entered and exited is automatically collected without having to manually enter timestamps. Accuracy and quality care time go up, interruptions for the healer and patient go down, efficiency like this is the trademark of intelligent healthcare operations management.

To transform the experience, first automate and then quantify

When the locations of staff, patients and mobile medical equipment are automatically captured as they move through hundreds of thousands of square feet within hospitals and tens of thousands of square feet across clinics, health system leaders receive data they have never had before. Logic is then applied in operational intelligence systems to deliver actionable intelligence. And it is effective healthcare operations management like this that enables care providers and leaders to understand current experiences, like the root causes of extended ED hold times, the time patients spend alone in exam rooms and in between care teams, why room turnover time is high, and the actual utilization of valuable and frequently used equipment.

The solution to automated capture and quantification is the use of operational intelligence systems enabled by RTLS (real-time location system) data capture. The challenge to overcome is ensuring that operational intelligence is available to the right staff at the right time and is used to rapidly iterate process change so operations continually improve.

Find the right partner and commit to a culture of change in healthcare operations management

Intelligent InSites helps with healthcare operations management by providing software, services, and proven change management methodologies to help healthcare leaders transform operations with real-time location data.

  • Quantify your operations by capturing movements of staff, patients and equipment

Hear Shane speak at MobCon

Learn more about RTLS-based operational intelligence and be inspired by examples of improvements that health systems have achieved in the areas of operational efficiency, patient safety, and patient and staff experience. Prepare to achieve these kind of results by learning the factors to consider and using proven change management phases.

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