When you become so ill and you need to be hospitalized, the last thing you want to worry about is whether the hospital will have a clean room ready upon your arrival, or whether the hospital has enough intravenous (IV) pumps to provide you with life-saving medications, or if medical staff have properly sanitized their hands before attending to you or if the right nurse with the proper credentials will care for you. These are all real challenges facing real hospitals every day, which GE Healthcare, in collaboration with GE Software, are working together to help eliminate.
In collaboration with GE, Ellis Medicine, is an excellent example of how software, data and analytics can positively impact patient outcomes. In the wake of New York State’s mandated hospital reforms, Ellis had to assume responsibility for two nearby, financially challenged hospitals. Paul Milton, chief operating officer of Ellis Medicine quickly realized that real-time accessible data was critical to their ultimate success in delivering operational efficiencies across the hospitals – in patient care, in wait times and in patient and staff satisfaction.
Capitalizing on GE’s GE Predictivity™ solution for Healthcare, the first stage of this collaboration centered on improving mobile asset management, with IV pumps being the initial focus. Let’s take a closer look:
Ellis was in the process of purchasing new IV pumps, as they thought a shortage existed. Before proceeding, hospital management wanted better insight into current inventory and how their staff was using the pumps. Ellis engaged GE Healthcare to find the answers. Initial analysis revealed that the hospital had more than enough pumps, but ineffective workflow and pump management processes were hampering distribution and causing perceived shortages.
Working with GE, Ellis determined a desired future state of operations and developed a procedure to better manage IV pumps on nursing floors and in the operating room (OR) and the emergency department. Central to that solution was the AgileTrac real-time location system. With this GE technology, a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag is placed on a piece of equipment so its location can be tracked in real time on computers throughout the facility. And the nurses now know exactly where any IV pump is at any time, just by logging onto a computer. The technology along with the new distribution processes mean that pumps are returned to circulation sooner and nurses have the tools readily available to care for their patients.
The second and third part of the engagement addressed other operational areas, such as improving patient flow and optimization the workforce through staffing, scheduling and hand hygiene compliance. Here is a bit more on each:
One of Ellis’ top priorities is to increase bed turnover, decrease the length of an average hospital stay and improve the overall patient experience. Using sensors in patient IDs, staff are now able to track a patients’ location as they are processed through the system. Upon discharge, the tag is dropped in a designated drop box, signaling the room is ready to be processed for the next patient in need.
The hospital also rolled out a separate workforce management system developed by API Healthcare, a newly acquired part of the GE Healthcare software portfolio, which allowed management and employees to track everything from staffing data and real-time nurse to patient ratios to payroll and overtime. In a six-month period, the hospital cut overtime costs by more than 25 percent.
Additionally, Ellis is in the process of rolling out Safer Care Management from GE Predictivity to help optimize staff behaviors for hand hygiene. Using sensors, Ellis will be able to improve hand washing behavior in real-time.
With the implementation of these solutions, GE committed to enabling $475,000 in cost savings over three years. Instead, Ellis Medicine has realized over $1.1 million in savings — more than double the projected return. Ellis is a great example of the Industrial Internet at work – managing and connecting assets, patients and staff together, in order to solve their toughest operational challenges.
GE’s work with Ellis has garnered recognition by Gartner Research as the recipient of the Enterprise Information and Master Data Management Excellence Award. This is just one more substantial validation of the importance of GE’s software and analytics impact on patient care and hospital efficiency.
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