Canada’s first Hospital Command Centre

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By Joe Gorman

Humber River Hospital (HRH) recently opened Canada’s first hospital Command Centre built in collaboration with GE Healthcare Partners (GEHC), addressing capacity, safety, quality and wait time issues that have preoccupied hospitals across Canada.  The impact of the Command Centre will be felt immediately by patients, physicians and care providers.

“As North America’s first fully digital hospital with a commitment to high reliability care, our cutting-edge technology, insight-rich data and human expertise comes together through the Command Centre to create an excellent patient experience that is both timely and safe,” states Barbara Collins, President and CEO of HRH.

“Ontario is a place where today’s innovative ideas are fast becoming tomorrow’s world-renowned scientific, medical and technological breakthroughs,” said Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science. “Congratulations to everyone at Humber River Hospital and GE Healthcare Partners for advancing innovation in Ontario, and for helping deliver the best in care to patients and their families.”

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HRH began its digital transformation back in 2005 when planning started for the new site of the Humber River hospital, which opened October 2015.  Since going fully digital, HRH has experienced a 20 per cent increase in benefit and efficiency.  Now, with the addition of HRH’s Command Centre, the hospital expects to double benefit and efficiency to 40 per cent.

“Whether it be the flu season that brings with it an influx of patients to the emergency department every year, or the fact that Canada has an aging and growing population, there are always pressures, both expected and unexpected, in acute care hospitals,” says Collins.  “The digital transformation and command centre are focal points of our strategy to deal with these pressures.”

“Over the next few months, the Command Centre will enable an increase in capacity equivalent to opening a small community hospital within our walls,” explains Collins.

The Command Centre is located in a 4,500 square foot space. The Command Centre includes 20 workstations, 22 LED screens. Screens display critical information generated by real-time and predictive analytics to support decision-making, trouble-shooting and process improvement. (CNW Group/Humber River Hospital)

The Command Centre includes a Wall of AnalyticsTM that provides advanced real-time and predictive insight, which triggers cross-functional staff co-located in the Command Centre to take action.  This team works together to synchronize care delivery activities (e.g. patient discharge), eliminate delays in care and resolve patient flow bottlenecks (e.g. transferring patients from emergency to an inpatient bed) as soon as they are detected in the Command Centre.  The alerts and actions that come to life daily in HRH’s Command Centre will also provide the basis for analysis and process re-engineering by staff throughout the hospital so that certain issues can be avoided altogether.

“Humber’s Quality Command Centre is all about action in support of care-teams and patients,” says Jeff Terry, Managing Principal of GEHC Partners.  “It’s an honor to serve the Humber River Hospital team. Humber River is in the vanguard of a global command center ecosystem that is creating new tools and methods to improve quality and efficiency in healthcare.”

The Command Centre plan is a multi-generational roll-out that drives increased capacity, improvements to quality care, and a high reliability environment.  Future phases will further enhance high reliability care and will allow the hospital to partner with the community so that more patients will be able to be cared for at home.

Collins says “The Command Centre contributes to the HRH vision of working together to deliver innovative and compassionate health care in our community.”

Joe Gorman is Director, Public and Corporate Communications at Humber River Hospital.