Patient Safety Full Court Press Team Visits a Command Center

The KH Operations Command Center (Photo courtesy Kettering Health)

The Patient Safety Full Court Press Team met December 13 to take a virtual tour of a hospital command center. Increasingly popular, command centers deploy existing technology to track the movement of patients and ensure the rational use of equipment, supplies, and personnel. But the very technology that permits these efficiencies could also, potentially, increase effectiveness, safety and quality of care. The new Healthcare Safety and Autonomous Technology Initiative, through a Jewish Healthcare Foundation grant to the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative, aims to encourage, among other activities, the configuring of command centers for research and experimentation in autonomous patient safety.

Jodie Cremeans, RN, executive director of the Operations Command Center at Kettering Health (KH) and Nicholas Squillace, MPH, RN director of the Operations Command Center at KH provided a virtual tour of their command center and how it is used to address COVID-19. The KH Command Center was fully functional pre-COVID, and its use was expanded in an emergency capacity during the pandemic, to connect various departments of the health system. The KH Operations Command Center helps manage admissions and transfers, availability of staff, bed status, patient census analytics, and EMR data. It displays video feeds of helipads and emergency entrances and has a capability for weather and news feeds. The KH Operations Command Center can also monitor capacity across facilities, and even in other health systems in the region, to anticipate high demand areas and begin early intervention.

Cremeans and Squillace were joined by Christopher Johnson, MBA, president and co-CEO of TeleTracking, for a Q&A and discussion with the Patient Safety Full Court Press Team to explore the potential of command centers to advance safety. The group discussed detailed aspects of command center design and operations, and how such centers—with full access to the electronic health record—could deploy existing technology for new purposes such as safety.

In 2022, the Patient Safety Full Court Press Team will hold further meetings to continue their role as a think tank for both the National Patient Safety Board effort and for local Healthcare Safety and Autonomous Technology research and demonstration. 

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