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Is It Time to Orchestrate™ the Operating Room?

Orchestrate-Operating-Room (250x142)What is the value of time worth in healthcare?  Have you ever considered the value that comes from better use of time in the operating room?

For the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, it meant 30 percent more surgical cases in one year.

For Abbott Northwestern, it was 5000 more surgeries.

For Cleveland Clinic, it means the ORs now function at nearly 90 percent year round.

All of this was accomplished without adding additional operating rooms or staff.

Can you imagine if that level of efficiency were brought to all ORs and procedural areas, which already produce 55-65% of overall hospital revenue? It can be! It involves removing wasted time from the care continuum in order to gain more capacity from that very expensive space.

What the operating rooms above have in common is a procedural patient throughput solution, appropriately called Orchestrate™, from TeleTracking. It’s a real-time operational management  solution which optimizes patient flow in operating rooms, prep areas, clinics, labs, diagnostic areas, ambulatory/outpatient surgery centers (ASCs) and emergency departments.

It’s like an “air traffic control system” that locates and tracks patients and all of the care providers involved in their treatment and records, documents and automates workflows based on moment-by-moment care milestones throughout the process. We call it Care Traffic Control™.

The Orchestrate™ system helps to move surgical and procedural cases in and out more efficiently, reducing length of stay (LOS), minimizing delays and surgical cancellations, eliminating patients leaving without being seen, increasing contribution margin and reducing wait times.

It does this by monitoring detailed intra-operative/intra-procedural milestones from when a patient is taken to surgical or procedural areas, through recovery/room return, discharge or transfer.  Patient progress is displayed in real-time to all staff members who impact care, replacing the white board, and in family waiting rooms (in compliance with HIPAA standards).

The information it yields can be analyzed in any number of ways to improve current processes and plan future procedures better to maximize facility utilization. For example:

  • Patient Wait Time
  • Turnaround Time
  • Actual Start Time vs. Scheduled Start Time
  • Case Delays
  • Case Delay Frequency by Delay Reason
  • Surgeon Check In Time vs. Scheduled Start
  • Clinical Discharge Time vs. PACU Leave
  • Time to Assign PACU after PACU Request

Most surgical and procedural departments have some automation in place to manage scheduling and documentation functions. These solutions are an extension of the EMR/information system. The scheduling software is forward-looking to predict resource management and bed utilization.  The EMR is the repository for what has already happened.

Orchestrate™ can enhance the EMR and augment scheduling by taking an anticipated schedule and tracking the patient flow and procedural milestone processes in real-time on the day of the procedure. By communicating activities as they are happening, Orchestrate™ supports in-the-moment decision making to minimize unanticipated changes that occur throughout the day.

A patient may see several specialists for some treatments, but none are responsible for managing the patient’s care path across the entire continuum.  By filling the gap between scheduling software and the clinical recording functions of EMRs, Orchestrate™ provides management of all patient throughput and status in real-time.

The result is incremental time savings at each step that reduces overall patient LOS and provides more effective capacity to see more patients in a given amount of time, resulting in greater overall revenues.

Here’s how to decide if Orchestrate™ can help your hospital:

  • Do you have an older scheduling system?
  • Is your record poor on start times? Recovery LOS?
  • Is the PACU always backed up?
  • Is the PACU asked to take on expanded volume?
  • Is the ED backed up from surgery delays?
  • Is capacity strained?
  • Is there high staff overtime in specialty areas?

With Orchestrate™ in the TeleTracking portfolio, we offer seamless care coordination which gives hospitals the unmatched opportunity to drive efficiency and reduce variation in the health care delivery system. Wouldn’t you like to bring that kind of value to your operating rooms?

Categories: Author: Dennis Morabito, EMR / Healthcare IT, Orchestrate