Trust to launch Europe’s first AI-powered hospital command centre

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is collaborating with GE Healthcare to build a command centre – like an air traffic control – at Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI).

The command centre, the first of its kind in Europe, will transform how care is delivered and organised as the number of patients at the hospital continues to increase.

Utilising artificial intelligence (AI), it will provide a clear, instant, and real-time overview across the 800-bed hospital and help staff make quick and informed decisions on how to best manage patient care.

Up to 20 Trust staff based in the command centre will monitor a ‘wall of analytics’ that constantly pulls in streams of real-time data from the multiple systems at the hospital.

Advanced algorithms will help staff to anticipate and resolve bottlenecks in care delivery before they occur, recommending actions to enable faster, more responsive patient care and better allocation of resources.

The data will be displayed on multiple high definition screens in the command centre – as well as on tablets and mobile devices, providing 24-7 support to busy medical teams across the hospital.

Located centrally

The command centre will be located centrally in a refurbished space at the BRI site. It will help to reduce unnecessary time spent in hospital after a patient is medically ready to leave, increase the proportion of patients who arrive and are admitted, transferred or discharged from A&E within four hours, and help ensure that patients are always treated in the wards best suited to manage their care.

Over 96 per cent of bed capacity at BRI is used regularly and it has 125,000 Emergency Department (A&E) attendances each year, up by more than 40 per cent over the past decade.

The command centre programme helps meet the vision of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to decrease length of stay, alleviate the need for additional wards and beds – especially during peak winter times – and reduce cancellations for non-emergency surgery.

“Demand for services is growing at Bradford Teaching Hospitals every year” said Professor Clive Kay, Chief Executive of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. “The command centre will enable us to optimise our use of resources and improve how we move patients around the hospital for treatment and successful discharge.

“Around 350-400 patients come through our A&E every day, and relieving pressure on our 6,000 staff means they can spend more time delivering care, and less time organising care.”

“Hospitals are increasingly looking to boost the efficiency of their operations so they can continue to deliver high quality care as patient volume increases.

Pressure points

“Command centres help to orchestrate the delivery of care across the organisation, bringing consistency to processes, prioritising actions, eliminating waste and predicting tomorrow’s pressure points,” said Mark Ebbens, European Command Centre Lead at GE Healthcare.

Command centres have been adopted by several hospitals in North America including The Johns Hopkins Hospital, a major not-for-profit 1,100 bed hospital in Baltimore, US, and Humber River Hospital, Toronto, Canada.

Since the command centre began operating at Johns Hopkins, patients from other hospitals are transferred 60 per cent faster, A&E waiting times have been cut by 25 per cent, and time spent waiting in the operating theatre for a post-surgical bed decreased by 70 per cent.

“GE Healthcare’s vision is to enable precision health. We are honoured to serve the NHS Bradford team as they look to deliver the most effective patient care,” added Jeff Terry, GE Healthcare’s Command Centre CEO.

Bradford Teaching Hospitals’ Command Centre will open in spring 2019.

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