Yale New Haven Hospital Improves Access to Health Data with Capacity Coordination Center

Yale New Haven Hospital, like many other hospitals, was constantly confronted with capacity and patient flow challenges throughout their acute care setting. This would sometimes result in boarding in the emergency department, anesthesia recovery areas and other locations throughout the spectrum of care.

To tackle these challenges, the hospital determined a need for a multidisciplinary, data-driven epicenter within the organization that would help streamline the flow of health data—so that information about the right patient could be shared with the right staff member at the right time. By accomplishing this, they could allocate more acute care beds to patients in need of them and improve care delivery.

To accomplish these goals, they decided to create a Capacity Coordination Center (CCC). To determine the best strategy for implementation, the hospital conducted numerous mid-level and senior leadership interviews. Based on their feedback, they confirmed that the primary mission of the CCC would be to improve efficiency of care by reducing hurdles created by logistics, infrastructure and miscommunication. Leveraging the existing Incident Command Center space, the CCC would evolve as a new data epicenter that would remove logistical delays in care, improve data transparency, and inspire stronger communication and collaboration among staff.

Implementing the Capacity Coordination Center

The interplay of transparent and real-time health data with the creation of a coworking environment, initially consisting of disparate groups from all corners of the organization, would be instrumental to the success of the CCC.

Stakeholders from hospital operations, physician and nursing leadership, bed management, environmental services, EMS and patient transport worked together to identify meaningful metrics—overall capacity, functional bed capacity, admissions, expected/actual discharges, ED census, OR cases, behavioral health census, etc.—along with workflows, courses of action and dashboards based on each metric. Team building began, and 24/7 staffing was planned—including nurses, EMTs, a general lead and an MD lead—to oversee multiple focus areas of the data epicenter, including patient transport and bed management. Docked departments, such as telehealth, ambulatory and clinical engineering, each would designate a staff member to check in with the CCC to report on their respective area four times a day.

Local operations monitored the state of the CCC and responded to individual metrics on an ongoing basis. To gauge effectiveness, “day in the life” scenarios were practiced where each work group (environmental services, patient transport, bed management, etc.) walked the entire CCC staff through a typical workday, including their challenges in times of high census, and highlighted how their workload was reflected in the metrics on display in the CCC. Additionally, IT worked to enhance the infrastructure of the CCC to ensure that it was designed to adequately support the new health data center, including integrating video conferencing and other audio-visual needs.

The strong and ongoing support from leadership and IT was critical to the initiative’s success, especially given the total transparency of large volumes of data—including performance metrics and real-time turnaround times. Co-location of staff with regular huddles and real-time communication were also key drivers for the CCC’s success.

As a result, the whole organization benefited from the data epicenter, which allowed for more user-friendly ways to communicate and display complex health data while also making it accessible to a wide range of users. Most importantly, it allowed the complex data universe of a 1,541-bed hospital to be accessible and actionable across the enterprise.

Paired with a carefully orchestrated co-location plan, this data availability allowed bridges and conversations among previously separated work groups, improving efficiency and patient flow.

Following the implementation of the CCC, from 2017 to 2018, Yale New Haven Hospital:

  • Decreased bed cleaning time by 32%
  • Decreased time from admission to emergency department departure by 18 minutes
  • Decreased patient transport turnaround time by 11%

HIMSS Davies Award of Excellence

The HIMSS Davies Award of Excellence recognizes the thoughtful application of health information and technology to substantially improve clinical care delivery, patient outcomes and population health around the world. The Davies Awards program promotes HIMSS’s vision and mission by recognizing and sharing use cases, model practices and lessons learned on how to improve health and wellness through the power of information and technology.

“By driving data to the capacity coordination center, Yale New Haven Hospital optimized processes, getting patients to the right care at the right time as quickly as possible,” said Jonathan French, CPHIMS, SHIMS, senior director of thought advisory at HIMSS. “By making data actionable, Yale New Haven Hospital breaks down the silos that delay care. This saves patients and their families from undue stress during a hospitalization. For this, HIMSS is proud to recognize Yale New Haven with the HIMSS Davies Award of Excellence.”

“Through the Davies Award, HIMSS sets a standard for the thoughtful use of technology that aligns with our mission to deliver unparalleled excellence in care,” said Lisa S. Stump, senior vice president and chief information officer of Yale New Haven Health System and Yale School of Medicine. “We are proud to receive this recognition and view it as our call to action for continued improvement.”

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