Kettering Health Network has unveiled a command center that brings together various lines of information to enable better patient and facility management.
The network is an eight-hospital delivery system with 120 outpatient facilities serving the Dayton and Cincinnati areas of Ohio. The vision for the command center is to enable executives to know everything about the system’s patients and track their care.
By pulling together diverse information, Kettering is able to view the status of every patient bed in real-time in all of its hospitals and medical facilities, while also determining the best bed in the most appropriate care setting for the patient based on factors such as diagnosis, patient/family preference and information from the admitting physician or surgeon.
Two years ago, Kettering launched a campaign to get deeper into caring for residents in underserved communities, where healthcare needs are often more acute. A hospital closure in the metropolitan area heightened the need for data sharing and communication, as the move affected about 70,000 patients, and Kettering and other hospitals each picked up additional patients to provide care.
To efficiently track all patients and know their status in real-time, Kettering decided to flip how it operates by working as a complete care system and not just working in physical buildings, says John Weimer, vice president of the network. The emergency, trauma and operations command center works much like the NASA command center for the nation’s space program.
NASA needs to know everything about a mission, and Kettering decided it also needed that capability. So, following a two-year vendor selection process that included strong consideration of four other companies, but the delivery system eventually chose a command center from TeleTracking Technologies. The vendor offered a comprehensive portfolio of best practices that hospitals can adopt, proven results from other clients, and superior bandwidth, according to Weimer.
Now, with first iteration of the command center live, Kettering Health continues to work on all the necessary coding being written as various parts of the command center come together. There is code for the phone systems, systems reporting, paging systems, seeing every bed in the delivery system, and a code to create operating pathways when a patient leaves with a ping sounding so employees know that the patient is gone and the room can be turned around.
Like any other hospital embarking on a new initiative, all change management is disruption but in large part clinicians understood the power of a command center and the data it could deliver, according to Weimer. The vendor brought integrated software that transfers patients into the network from all access points including the emergency department, operating room, direct admissions and transfers from other facilities, while also providing real-time reporting, analytics and dashboards for providers and executives.