BRADFORD Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is set to transform care with its new Command Centre – reducing waiting times and making the experience of being in hospital smoother, faster and more efficient for patients.
The Command Centre at Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI) was officially opened on Tuesday, 12 November, by Sarah Wilkinson, Chief Executive of NHS Digital – the national information partner to the health and social care system.
By applying the latest digital innovation and proven best practices, the Command Centre will help staff to optimise patient flow and allow real-time co-ordination of care for each and every patient.
Using advanced analytics and machine learning, the new system will provide staff with real-time information to help them make speedy and informed decisions on managing patient flow across the Trust’s hospitals.
And the Command Centre is already having an impact on patients and staff alike – transforming how care is delivered and organised – resulting in faster ambulance transfer times, patients moving through hospital faster and more efficiently without unnecessary delays, getting home quicker and fewer cancelled operations due to winter pressures.
Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive at the Trust, Sandra Shannon, said: “Demand for services is growing at Bradford Teaching Hospitals every year, with up to 400 patients coming through our A&E every day, and we have to get smarter at how we manage the needs of patients with the resources we have.
“The Command Centre is a major investment in how we, as a very busy acute Trust, can improve our performance, maintain and improve patients’ experience of coming into hospital and support our staff to do their jobs more efficiently, so they can concentrate on delivering excellent patient care.”
At its heart, Bradford’s Command Centre is all about wholescale transformation in how the Trust manages patient flow by using a system of improvement methods to simplify, standardise and remove waste in existing processes.
Frontline NHS staff have also been core to the design, build and activation of the programme and their continued involvement will drive lasting impact and continuous improvement from the Command Centre.
Based at BRI, the Trust’s main hospital, the Command Centre co-locates key operational decision-makers and gives them real-time data to enable better, faster decisions so they can take action that will help and support front line staff.
The Command Centre team is made up of the hospital’s patient flow experts: the clinical site team, bed bureau and diagnostic virtual ward which are located in one place for the first time to make multi-disciplinary decisions about patient pathways.
Command Centre Medical Director, Dr Brad Wilson, said the Command Centre will eventually show a complete picture of activity, delays and issues that can be acted on.
“We’re looking for every opportunity to improve our services and ultimately transform services, so, a simple thing like bringing different teams together in the Command Centre already cuts down on duplication, saves time and stops people working in isolation.
“It’s a game-changer as it will help us manage patients more effectively through our hospitals. We have got fantastic, committed staff who come to work to do a good job, and this will help them do this better and help our whole hospitals run effectively, perform better, and improve patients’ experience of being cared for here.”
Blueprint for hospitals
Jeff Terry, Chief Executive Officer, Clinical Command Centres at GE Healthcare. “Bradford Command Centre is already benefitting caregivers and patients. Bradford had the courage to prove the potential of this toolkit in the NHS’s context and in the process create a blueprint for hospitals across Europe to consider and build upon. We’re honoured to serve the Bradford team.”
Bradford’s Command Centre allows the Trust to see a full picture of hospital activity in real-time, so staff can intervene and make changes that directly affect patient care and flow.
The system provider, GE Healthcare, has helped the Trust collate and display this data in real-time, which affects how patients are managed throughout the whole system.
It moves the Trust on from white boards and winter ‘control’ rooms to live, actionable information with the resources to act on it. This means staff will spend less time looking through IT systems for relevant information as a whole, accurate picture of activity is available.
Command Centre staff will monitor a ‘wall of analytics’ that constantly pulls in streams of data from the Trust’s electronic patient record (EPR) system and draws on many other, separate sources of data from across the hospitals, to make sense of what’s happening and why, 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week.
It will also allow persistent problems to be addressed and patterns and themes to be flagged up and prioritised.
Bradford’s Command Centre went live earlier this year and it is expected that it will be fully operational by spring 2020.
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