Real-Time Analytics Platform Helps University Hospitals Restart Elective Procedures
// By Jane Weber Brubaker //
Hitting the pause button on elective procedures has resulted in deep financial losses across all U.S. health systems, and they now face immense pressure to recover financially, as quickly as possible.
In Ohio, nonessential elective procedures stopped on March 18 and didn’t reopen until May 1. Even now, only elective procedures that do not require an overnight stay have restarted.
At University Hospitals (UH) in Cleveland, thousands of surgeries and procedures that were scheduled during the six-week period had to be canceled, according to Dan Towarnicke, vice president of perioperative services. “We had to postpone 4,000 surgeries and another 2,000 procedures such as cath (cardiac catherization) lab, EP [electrophysiology], or endo [endoscopy] procedures,” he says. Towarnicke estimates financial losses in the “tens of millions of dollars.”
Now that elective procedures have partially reopened, the challenge is getting those patients back into the schedule and managing the operating rooms (ORs) and labs for maximum efficiency. A machine learning platform UH adopted in late 2017 — Hospital IQ — is making it easier for the system to move forward.
Even during normal times, making the best use of costly resources like ORs and procedural areas (cath labs, endoscopy areas, interventional radiology areas) is difficult, and often the reason is lack of timely information about usage. One advantage the Hospital IQ platform provides is real-time information.
“It’s a data-driven platform that applies system-specific policies, machine learning, and other analytical methods to perioperative data in order to accurately forecast OR utilization and make recommendations to improve operational performance,” says Shawn Sefton, vice president of client operations at Hospital IQ, and former perioperative nurse executive.