Oregon is the first state in the U.S. to launch a new statewide command center software solution for hospital capacity and critical resource management developed by GE Healthcare. With a federal grant provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Apprise Health Insights will lead the deployment of this technology platform, the Oregon Capacity System (OCS), to every hospital in the state of Oregon by Summer 2022.
The COVID-19 crisis has exposed the need for better capacity management across hospitals – a need real-time data for bed availability can address. Hospitals struggle during the pandemic as patient surges, made worse by natural disasters such as hurricanes and wildfires, strain the capacity of ICUs and ERs across the country. Oregon, like many other states, is challenged to meet this soaring demand. As the state continues to navigate the Delta wave, on September 28, the Oregon Health Authority reported only 53 available adult ICU beds out of 645 in the state.
“Over the past two years, the Oregon Capacity System has provided an invaluable bird’s eye view of capacity across the state, helping us give timely care to our patients despite the strain the pandemic has placed on our resources. I expect the need will be even greater in the coming months as vaccination rates in rural Oregon remain low,” said Helene Anderson, Regional Director of Capacity & Throughput, Providence. “Yet despite Oregon being one of the states with the lowest ratio of beds per capita, this system has given us such a clear and accurate view of capacity across hospitals that we’ve been able to maximize resources and even bring in patients from out-of-state. Having shared visibility has promoted collaboration at the state level to navigate capacity constraints and overcome challenges to patient flow to help patients get the care they need when they need it.”
Prior to the project that began in March 2020, hospitals in Oregon, like every other state, tracked and reported capacity information manually, retroactively, and individually, resulting in outdated reports and potentially week-old data. Using GE Healthcare’s command center software, Oregon’s Statewide Capacity System is tracking 7,368 beds and approximately 800 ventilators across 60 hospitals, while processing 4.2 million data points each day, removing the need to manually track and enter capacity information. To date the system has saved participating hospitals 45,000 hours of labor, which amounts to roughly 3 million dollars of productivity, and is expected to save even more time as further automation reduces the burden of manual reporting.
Access to near-time bed availability data helps health systems across the state make well-informed timely decisions about staffing and resource utilization and achieve the goal of high-quality patient care for the residents of Oregon.
“GE Healthcare Command Centers help health systems to orchestrate patient care, from the bedside to the department and the health system. This work extends that impact statewide with a broader set of automated real time data than ever before. This is important to coordinate access and resources through COVID and will be important for getting patients the care they need long after the pandemic,” said Jeff Terry, CEO of Clinical Command Centers, GE Healthcare.
Apprise Health Insights and GE Healthcare are expanding the system beyond tracking current beds and ventilators only, to track and process more than five million data points per day, including acute, pediatric, ICU, specialty, rehab and psych bed availability data as well as PPE, Emergency Department and Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) availability. This information will be pulled directly from the electronic medical records (EMR) of every hospital in Oregon and fed into the Oregon State Capacity System, all fully automated in near real-time while ensuring patient privacy is appropriately protected. Information will then be made available to all participating organizations via a website which is easily accessible from any device or projected on a screen and refreshed every five minutes. By having access to capacity data in near real-time, hospital staff can expedite and escalate transfers to the nearest locations with available beds, getting patients the care when and where they need it and avoiding delays in bed assignment and care initiation.
“We are proud to lead this effort that will give every hospital across the state access to more accurate information on hospital capacity and critical resources to better serve their patients,” said Andy Van Pelt, CEO of Apprise Health Insights. “Born out of the need for real-time information in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, this type of centralized platform can aggregate and surface complex data to front-line care providers.”
Apprise Health Insights will lead the operation of the system leveraging GE Healthcare command center software. A governance group made up of hospital and healthcare system leadership, with both technical and operational expertise, advisors from other stakeholders will provide overall system management and oversight.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated, health care systems must be nimble and ready to provide appropriate care in resource-constrained circumstances, and doing so requires continuous information and situational awareness,” said HHS National Healthcare Preparedness Programs Branch Deputy Director Jennifer Hannah. “That is why the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response is supporting the development of tools that provide valuable statewide insight into hospital capacity and critical resource monitoring.”