The number of patients needing medical care has steadily increased since the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010. Many healthcare facilities have found it difficult to respond to the rising demand for care, leading to inefficiencies and lost revenue. However, medical command centers offer tailored solutions to all of these problems. In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at the many benefits of medical control centers and why you should consider one for your organization.
Medical command centers are equipped with a variety of technologies for increased efficiency and situational awareness. These include custom consoles, digital signage, video walls, network switches, surround sound, video conferencing systems, and more. Along with EMR (electronic medical record) providers, hospitals create custom dashboards that are displayed on large video walls.
In addition to patient medical records and detailed schedules, video walls may display weather or traffic data. And many consoles feature touchscreen displays that allow your staff to focus on specific metrics. Medical command centers also use the power of artificial intelligence and data analytics to coordinate care across healthcare systems and inform human decision making.
Superior Situational Awareness
With state-of-the-art technology comes enhanced situational awareness for you and your team. Access to real- or near real-time data on crucial aspects of patient care empowers employees to access key information and maintain situational awareness. This healthcare logistics data includes:
- Transfers between facilities
- Forecasted demand
- Bed availability
- Discharge planning
- Care progression
- Information on incoming patients
Ultimately, superior situational awareness across all of your facilities allows you to respond quickly in a manner that benefits patients. You can also use the information you gather to improve your processes in the long run.
Synchronized Teams & Reduced Siloing
Siloing and disconnect between individual care teams has long been a problem faced by healthcare networks. It can be difficult for a distributed workforce of doctors, nurses, and administrative personnel to work together across facilities.
However, when employees are co-located within a medical command center, they can work through problems and make decisions together. Breaking down silos also allows teams to take a wide-angle look at what’s happening across their healthcare system. This facilitates collaboration, visibility, and a higher level of patient care.
Command centers work together with local care teams in what’s called a hub-and-spoke system. The control center functions as the hub, and the emergency departments, hospitals, urgent care centers, and diagnostic areas serve as spokes. Employees in the spokes directly interact with patients and families to provide care. By providing the spokes with up-to-date information in real-time, the hub helps them make informed decisions that most benefit patients.
Increased Efficiency & Revenue
Another benefit of medical command centers is the positive impact they have on revenue and efficiency of care. Healthcare facilities are focused on maximizing capacity and their ability to care for as many patients as possible. However, siloing and miscommunications across teams and facilities can hamper efficiency.
But these concerns are mitigated by the many benefits of centralized medical control rooms. For starters, they analyze historical data from healthcare management systems to improve planning and adjust staffing. In turn, they increase capacity without the need for additional space and maximize employee productivity without excessive overtime.
The factors above also lead to positive revenue growth, which benefits everyone at your organization. Each hour an emergency room patient waits for a bed costs hospitals hundreds of dollars. Delaying treatment of time-sensitive conditions also increases lengths of hospitalization and costs associated with care, much of which is absorbed by the medical facility.
Improved Patient Experience
One of the most important — if not the most important — benefits of medical command centers is enhanced patient care. Your community entrusts you with their care, and they deserve to receive the highest degree of service. By handling some of the tedious legwork, control centers free up staff for what they do best: provide care.
The cross-organization communication facilitated by medical control rooms helps patients move through the healthcare system efficiently. In turn, you can provide care for the next level of patients in a timely manner. It also reduces the chances of physician burnout, which can lead to dangerous and costly medical errors. Ultimately, streamlining administrative tasks through a centralized hub optimizes patient-centered care.