GE Healthcare's Command Center technology also helps eliminate 20,000 excess days and reduces average length of stay by half a day, the 1,006-bed hospital reports.
Two years after the 2018 soft launch of Tampa General Hospital's CareComm command center, which is fueled by GE Healthcare's artificial intelligence (AI) technology , the 1006-bed non-profit academic medical center says it has experienced $40 million in savings by reducing system-wide inefficiencies.
John Couris, president and CEO of Tampa General Hospital (TGH), also reports the system has made the hospital more efficient, eliminating 20,000 excess patient days and reducing average length of stay by half a day—from 6.0 days to 5.5 days last year. In addition, the hospital credits its CareComm capabilities for enabling it to operate at maximum occupancy and reduce emergency room diversion by 25% for the level one trauma center that serves the Florida's West Coast. These improvements equate to 30 beds of additional capacity, according to TGH.
As hospitals and health systems explore AI technology for a variety of endeavors, TGH's success provides evidence of the potential long-term impact and value of AI for command center operations. And, as the COVID-19 pandemic gives rise to virtual care and sheds light on the possibility of reducing a facility's physical footprint, TGH may be one step ahead of this trend.
"We feel sometimes that to fix a problem, we've got to build a building or build more capacity," said Couris in a news release. "We started to think a little differently saying, 'How do we drive value to the consumer by doing better with what we have and not just simply building more.' "
While the technology began operating in 2018, last year TGH officially launched CareComm with the opening of an 8,000-square-foot facility, styled after NASA's Mission Control Center, replete with 38 wall-mounted LCD screens, featuring displays fueled by 20 separate AI applications. The system optimizes minute-to-minute patient care operations with real-time actionable information.
“We built CareComm with a focus on improving both efficiency and effectiveness at TGH, and we have made tremendous strides since launching it last year," Couris said in a statement to HealthLeaders. "CareComm is not only the center of gravity for our artificial intelligence platform," he commented in the news release, "it's the center of gravity for the entire hospital system."
Short-term plans for the future include expanding the focus of the system "to help drive an increase in quality and the value we provide to our patients and the health care consumer,” Couris said. Longer term—over the next three to five years—TGH plans to expand CareComm "to serve the entire Tampa General ecosystem, including ambulatory care, acute care, and physician practices with the goal of improving access, convenience, and quality to the consumer, as well as lowering healthcare costs.”
The technology also has played a role in helping the hospital's approach to the COVID-19 pandemic. TGH is co-leading a statewide collaboration with other Florida health systems and GE Healthcare to manage beds, ventilators, and COVID-19 hospitalizations in near-time called the Florida Capacity System, according to the hospital. This new cloud-based system will help to manage the pandemic, as well as hurricanes and other challenges in the future.
“The COVID-19 crisis requires a regional response. We’ll keep working together with the Florida healthcare systems and have agreed to share information, messaging to the public, coordinate activities, share resources, and innovate and support our communities together,” said Couris in the new release. “When it comes to safeguarding the health and wellness of the community, you must transcend competition and collaborate.”
“CareComm is not only the center of gravity for our artificial intelligence platform, it's the center of gravity for the entire hospital system.”
John Couris, president and CEO of Tampa General Hospital
Mandy Roth is the innovations editor at HealthLeaders.
Photo credit: John Couris, president and CEO, Tampa General Hospital (Photo courtesy of Tampa General Hospital)
In addition to $40M in savings, the technology helps the hospital operate at capacity and reduced emergency room diversion by 25% for its level one trauma center.
Plans to expand capabilities include serving the entire Tampa General ecosystem, including ambulatory care, acute care, and physician practices.