New ‘Command Centre’ improves patient journey through surgery
St John of God Health Care launched new ‘clinical command’ technology in its Murdoch Hospital operating theatres in June that resulted in less waiting time in patient holding areas and freed up the theatre team to spend more time on patient care.
Increased efficiency in theatres is expected to lead to greater theatre utilisation by visiting medical officers.
From a new ‘Clinical Command Centre’ a patient’s whereabouts in their journey through theatres is highly visible and trackable on large digital screens; from the time the patient is admitted to hospital, through being prepared for surgery, to surgery performed, being monitored post-surgery and then on to the hospital ward.
The newly created position of ‘Perioperative Flow Manager’ literally ensures that patients continue to ‘flow’ through the surgical journey from a commanding view of digital dashboards that fill a wall in the ‘Clinical Command Centre’.
With this perspective, the Flow Manager is able to troubleshoot any blockages in the flow and staff up or down accordingly.
Doctors and caregivers can also view activity levels on digital screens installed in operating theatres and at other points in the hospital, which gives them greater visibility of their individual workload and a means of communication with patients to help ease any anxiety.
Visual cues indicate that patients are prepared for surgery well ahead of turning up in theatre. Individual patients are represented on the time-lapse screen moving from grey, to white and green when they are ready to go for the operation. If there are changes or delays the patient displays as yellow or red, which alerts staff to take action.
As is the nature of hospitals, emergency situations and last-minute theatre bookings arise and the Flow Manager has the oversight to be able to add these to the schedule to minimise the impact on activity overall and communicate with all impacted areas of theatres as quickly as possible.
Whereas once a half a dozen phone calls could be made around the hospital to track a single patient’s progress, now every staff member involved can see where the patient is at any point in time by checking the Clinical Command Centre screens.
For anxiously waiting family, the ward staff can see where their loved one is located and give updates on when they will arrive back into their hospital room.
The new system will provide advanced analytics on theatre utilisation and allow the hospital to continually improve service delivery for the benefit of patients, staff and doctors. It will deliver greater efficiencies, quality improvements and increased utilisation by surgeons.
The successful implementation of the Clinical Command Centre at St John of God Murdoch Hospital will see this new technology rolled-out across SJGHC’s hospitals surgical facilities.