by John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | October 05, 2018
GE Healthcare will open a first-of-its-kind, AI-Powered Hospital Command Center in Europe at Bradford Royal Infirmary in the U.K., as part of a collaboration with Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
The two will integrate a variety of AI capabilities within the 800-bed facility for clear, instant and real-time overview to assist staff members in making quick and informed decisions for managing the growing number of hospital patients, particularly in accident and emergency (A&E) attendances.
"A&E demand (or “attendances”) has been on the increase in general across the whole country, largely due to an ageing demographic; the proportion of those presenting who are frail, elderly and have multiple conditions is increasing," Mark Ebbens, Europe Command Center Lead at GE Healthcare, told HCB News. "This, in turn, leads to an increase in admitted inpatients."
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Around 350-400 patients come through BRI's A&E every day, adding up to 125,000 attendances annually, a figure 40 percent higher than a decade ago. In addition, 96 percent of bed capacity is used regularly at BRI.
Located centrally in a refurbished space at the site, the Command Center program will aim to decrease lengths of stay; alleviate additional ward and bed needs, particularly during the winter; and reduce cancellations for non-emergency surgery.
The technology comprising it forms a so-called “wall of analytics”, used by up to 20 Trust staff members to pull in streams of real-time data from multiple systems, such as EHRs, PACS, labs, staffing systems, ambulance information, and numerous information sources, both in and outside of the Trust. Access to these systems will enable the Command Center to monitor key data points from the same room, including emergency department volume, bed allocations, critical care capacity, surgical scheduling, discharge planning, and more.
Such support will be available to busy medical teams throughout the hospital 24/7, with data displayed on multiple high-definition screens, and accessible on tablets and mobile devices.
It also will be equipped with advanced algorithms to help staff anticipate and resolve bottlenecks in care delivery before they take place with recommendations for faster and more responsive patient care, and better allocation of resources.
Similar GE-constructed Command Centers have already been built at numerous locations in North America, the most recent being at CHI Franciscan Health
in Washington state. Others include Humber River Hospital in Toronto and Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, which opened
in 2016 and has since seen 60 percent faster transfers; a 25 percent reduction in A&E wait times; and a 70 percent decrease in operating theatre wait times for post-surgical beds.
"Healthcare organizations are recognizing that the next level of operational excellence, efficiency and clinical quality lies in harnessing the sea of data that now exists across the care continuum," said Ebbens. "The Command Center approach enables caregivers to access real time situational awareness, decision support and predictive analytics. It shines a light on areas of inefficiency in real time, whilst enabling staff to see what’s coming and plan proactive interventions to improve outcomes."
New analytics, data feeds, actions and roles can be added at any time in the future to expand the scope of activity within the Command Center.
The Command Center at BIR is expected to open in the spring of 2019.