GE Healthcare Camden Group Insights Blog

GE Healthcare's Command Center Solution Recognized at Frost & Sullivan Innovation & Leadership Awards Gala

Posted by Matthew Smith on Oct 17, 2018 10:23:57 AM

GE Healthcare's Command Center solution was recognized by Frost & Sullivan at its 2018 Growth, Innovation & Leadership Awards Gala held on Tuesday, October 2, 2018, at Paradise Point Resort & Spa in San Diego, CA.

Bree Bush, Principal, GE Healthcare Partners, accepted the award at the gala event.

Frost & Sullivan’s Best Practices Awards are presented each year to companies that are predicted to encourage significant growth in their industries, have identified emerging trends before they became a marketplace standard, and have created advanced technologies that will catalyze and transform industries in the near future.

“Our Best Practices Awards are presented each year to companies that demonstrate top performance in areas such as market leadership, business strategy, product innovation, and customer value. Our recipients’ achievements pave the way to drive significant industry growth while also setting trends before they become the market standard,” said Art Robbins, President of Frost & Sullivan’s Global Consulting Practice and Global Head of the Business and Financial Services Practice.

Based on its recent analysis of the global hospital command centers market, Frost & Sullivan recognized GE Healthcare Partners citing a unique holistic command center solution to optimize patient care delivery. The command center solution helps hospitals and hospital networks improve outcomes and efficiency by employing the most advanced technologies such as prescriptive and predictive analytics, machine learning, natural language processing, and computer vision in a new “command center” department in a purpose-built space manned by newly empowered staff helping front-line caregivers 24x7.

In its AwarReport, Frost & Sullivan cites GEHCP command centers for:

  • A breakthrough capability for patient and staff experience, outcomes and efficiency.
  • A combination of artificial and human intelligence to predict risk, orchestrate complex care activity and support evidence-based medicine; and provide a center of gravity for cultural integration and continuous improvement
  • The employment of technology to drive action by applying AI to constant real-time data from machines, devices, EMRs, and other software.

“We’re delighted to be recognized by Frost & Sullivan for our Command Center work,” says Jeff Terry, CEO Command Centers, GE Healthcare Partners. “It’s a testament to the tenacity, innovation and focus of both our team and the caregivers we’re honored to serve.”

To learn more about the GE Healthcare Partners’ command centers please click here. To read the full press release announcing the award please click here. To contact the GE Healthcare Partners team for more information or to request a time to speak, please click here


Topics: Command Center

Bradford, GE Healthcare Announce AI-Powered Hospital Command Center, First of its Kind in Europe

Posted by Matthew Smith on Oct 4, 2018 11:23:58 AM

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is collaborating with GE Healthcare to build a Command Center - like an air traffic control - at the Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI), UK. A first of its kind in Europe, the Command Center will transform how care is delivered and organized as the number of patients at the hospital continues to increase. Utilizing 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 Center 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 Center - as well as on tablets and mobile devices, providing 24-7 support to busy medical teams across the hospital.

The Command Center 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 (Emergency Department) within four hours, and help ensure that patients are always treated in the wards best suited to manage their care.

Over 96% of bed capacity at BRI is used regularly and it has 125,000 A&E attendances each year, up by more than 40% over the past decade. The Command Center program 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 Center will enable us to optimize 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 organizing 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. Command Centers help to orchestrate the delivery of care across the organization, bringing consistency to processes, prioritizing actions, eliminating waste and predicting tomorrow’s pressure points,” said Mark Ebbens, European Command Center Lead at GE Healthcare.

Command Centers 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 Center began operating at Johns Hopkins, patients from other hospitals are transferred 60% faster, Emergency Room (A&E) wait times have been cut by 25%, and time spent waiting in the operating theatre for a post-surgical bed decreased by 70%.

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

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

Topics: Command Center

CHI Franciscan Partners with GE Healthcare to Bring First AI-Powered Hospital Mission Control Center to Washington State

Posted by Matthew Smith on Sep 27, 2018 8:40:22 AM

CHI Franciscan Health and GE Healthcare have joined forces to implement a NASA-style “Mission Control” command center to effectively and efficiently synchronize all elements of a patient’s hospital experience. The artificial intelligence (AI)-powered system will support caregivers to enhance patient safety, orchestrate seamless care delivery and, ultimately, get patients back home sooner.

CHI Franciscan will be the first hospital system in the state of Washington – and the fifth globally – to utilize the leading-edge technology to improve patient care.

“We’re leading the way in Washington with our state-of-the-art Mission Control Center, which will allow CHI Franciscan to provide a much higher level of sophistication and efficiency in our hospitals,” said Ketul J. Patel, CEO, CHI Franciscan Health. “We will be able to simultaneously monitor every single patient in our system and utilize real-time data to tailor their experience to provide the highest quality care.”

The Mission Control Center will use the power of artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to optimize care coordination, speed care delivery, and improve the patient experience, while maintaining patient privacy. The powerful system works by looking at each individual hospital as part of a larger system, continually examining real-time data and using machine learning to recommend actions that can predict and prevent risk, balance staff workload, and streamline the discharge process so patients can get home sooner.

“CHI Franciscan’s Mission Control will be among the most comprehensive in all of healthcare, combining virtual hospital, care coordination, and new mission controllers working to expedite care,” said Jeff Terry, CEO, Command Centers, GE Healthcare Partners. “It’s an honor to serve CHI Franciscan.”

From the Mission Control Center, licensed providers will monitor and leverage analytic apps, or “tiles,” to optimize patient care operations at each facility, and trigger actions to best leverage resources across the system. Each tile is carefully crafted to solve a specific issue, taking into account the highly nuanced real-world challenges of caregivers and patients. For example, one tile will help streamline the discharge process by monitoring all patients scheduled for discharge and identifying and addressing “pinch points” that can cause significant and preventable delays. The key is that the real-time data in the tiles is predictive and actionable.

“Often, patients scheduled for discharge just need one more test, such as a CT scan, for the doctor to review,” said Jessica Kennedy-Schlicher, MD, medical director for care transformation at CHI Franciscan. “The people scheduling the CTs are running through a list of patients, often as first-come first-served. Mission Control will be able to prioritize the list and flag patients to move up on the list. By optimizing the process, we can speed care delivery and get patients home sooner.”

“The purpose of any new technology in health care is to enable providers to deliver better care, bringing doctors and nurses closer to their patients,” Patel said. “Mission Control’s powerful predictive analytics identify potential issues and allow our care teams to proactively solve problems and improve care rather than react when issues arise. With the AI focusing on the important nuts and bolts of operational efficiency and care logistics, our caregivers can devote more time to providing the best care and delivering the best outcomes for our patients.”

The Mission Control Center will complement CHI Franciscan’s already best-in-class Virtual Hospital, which includes regional telemetry monitoring, virtual companion, virtual ICU, virtual hospitalist, and other services. CHI Franciscan’s virtual care teams complement on-site teams, for example, by providing continuous surveillance of cardiac rhythms for inpatients, which allows on-site staff maximum time at the bedside. The virtual ICU team, which includes physicians and nurses, monitors all CHI Franciscan ICU patients, resulting in shorter ICU stays and better outcomes.

CHI Franciscan Mission Control will be organized with a system-wide Mission Control Center, and smaller centers located at St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma, St. Francis Hospital in Federal Way, and Harrison Medical Center in Silverdale.

CHI Franciscan is the fifth health system to join GE Healthcare’s Command Center Ecosystem, which also includes The Johns Hopkins Health System, Humber River Hospital (Toronto), Oregon Health Sciences University, AdventHealth Orlando, and Tampa General Hospital. 

Topics: Command Center

GE Healthcare "Command Centers" Recognized with Frost & Sullivan's 2018 Global Visionary Innovation Leadership Award

Posted by Matthew Smith on Sep 20, 2018 9:48:18 AM

Frost & Sullivan, a growth partnership company, awarded GE Healthcare’s “command center solution” its Best Practices Award for Global Visionary Innovation Leadership.

Each year, Frost & Sullivan recognizes the company that demonstrates excellence in growth and customer value. It recognizes the superiority of the product/service, as well as the overall customer, purchase, ownership, and service experience delivered, which has resulted in the recipient company seeing above-market growth and greater share of wallet. The award lauds the growth, diversification, and sustainability strategies of the company.

Based on its recent analysis of the global hospital command centers market, Frost & Sullivan recognized GE Healthcare Partners citing a unique holistic command center solution to optimize patient care delivery. The command center solution helps hospitals and hospital newtorks improve outcomes and efficiency by employing the most advanced technologies such as prescriptive and predictive analytics, machine learning, natural language processing, and computer vision in a new “command center” department in a purpose-built space manned by newly empowered staff helping front-line caregivers 24x7.

"Unlike competing command centers that serve specific objectives, GE Healthcare Partners’ solution is holistic and custom-fitted, covering the entire hospital or health system’s operations and targeting multiple tasks based on the facility’s needs," says Siddharth Shah, Industry Analyst at Frost & Sullivan. "The approach is technology-agnostic, but relies on the data collected by various technologies implemented in the hospital. This makes the command center scalable, and expands its application scope to cover patient access, patient throughput through the length of stay, clinical pathways, clinical imaging, patient discharge, and even telehealth and population health initiatives."

In its AwarReport, Frost & Sullivan cites GEHCP command centers for:

  • A breakthrough capability for patient and staff experience, outcomes and efficiency.
  • A combination of artificial and human intelligence to predict risk, orchestrate complex care activity and support evidence-based medicine; and provide a center of gravity for cultural integration and continuous improvement
  • The employment of technology to drive action by applying AI to constant real-time data from machines, devices, EMRs, and other software.

“We’re delighted to be recognized by Frost & Sullivan for our Command Center work,” says Jeff Terry, CEO Command Centers, GE Healthcare Partners. “It’s a testament to the tenacity, innovation and focus of both our team and the caregivers we’re honored to serve.”

"Hospital departments typically work in silos, but GE Healthcare Partners’ co-location approach promotes synergies as well as facilitates future technology adoption of tele-ICU, telehealth services, home health services, and population health efforts," noted Shah. "One of the reasons for the success of GE’s command center is the company's decision to not disrupt the front-line care team members, but rather empower and support them in their daily duties. The combination of human and artificial intelligence has proved a winning move and positioned the company for further growth."

GE Healthcare Partners will be formally recognized and presented with the award at the Frost & Sullivan Growth, Innovation & Leadership Awards Gala on October 2, 2018, at the Paradise Point Resort in San Diego, CA.

To learn more about the GE Healthcare Partners’ command centers please click here. To read the full press release announcing the award please click here.

Topics: Command Center

Florida Hospital and GE Healthcare Partners to Build 'Command Center' to Guide Clinical Operations

Posted by Matthew Smith on Jun 1, 2018 9:17:28 AM

The center, the first of its kind in the region, will use predictive analytics to guide decisions on patient care, staffing, and more. 

ORLANDO, Fla., May 31, 2018 — Florida Hospital and GE Healthcare Partners are working together to design and build a command center that will transform clinical operations at Florida Hospital locations across Central Florida. The high-tech center, the first of its kind in the region, will use predictive analytics to help hospital staff working to deliver quality, safe, and optimized clinical operations. 

The command center will function like NASA’s mission control, but focused on constantly orchestrating patient care at nine Florida Hospital campuses in Orange, Seminole, and Osceola counties. Together, these hospitals handle more than 2,000,000 patient visits per year, making Florida Hospital one of the nation’s largest nonprofit health systems.

The command center’s Wall of Analytics leverages existing IT systems. The platform takes data from multiple systems and applies artificial intelligence algorithms to spot the “needle in the haystack” so staff can act to prioritize patient-care activities and discharges, make short-term staffing decisions, and mitigate potential bottlenecks before they occur.

Command-center technology has also been shown to reduce wait times, expediting needed patient care. And by using near real-time data, providers can streamline their processes in time-sensitive clinical situations.    

Florida Hospital joins a growing ecosystem of such centers which includes The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and Humber River Hospital in Toronto.  Florida Hospital’s Command Center (FHCC) will achieve the distinction of being the largest health-care command center (square footage) supporting the largest number of beds and hospital campuses.  Analytic “tiles” in the FHCC will leverage learning from the other centers and break new ground in using artificial intelligence to constantly help caregivers.

“Florida Hospital prides itself on utilizing innovative technology to provide the best possible care for our patients. Our goal is to improve the patient experience, enabling caregivers to spend more time with their patients while making care decisions more easily and quickly,” said Daryl Tol, president & CEO of Florida Hospital and Adventist Health System’s Central Florida Division. “We are excited to partner with GE Healthcare Partners to bring this innovative concept to our care network.”

“Command Center staff using advanced analytics in a purpose-built space will help caregivers help patients, all the time. The combination of human and artificial intelligence is what’s so powerful,” added Jeff Terry, CEO of Command Centers for GE Healthcare. “Florida Hospital is so advanced in many ways. We’re honored for them to join GE’s command center community.”

The command center will be built in a centralized location to serve Florida Hospital operations across the region. It is expected to open in 2019.

For media inquiries only, call Florida Hospital Corporate Communications at 407-303-5950.

Topics: Command Center

Two Women Turn Data Into Action--Help Doctors Save a Patient's Kidney

Posted by Matthew Smith on May 31, 2018 3:19:25 PM

Inside a busy acute care hospital, it’s not uncommon for several hours to pass between the moment a patient is cleared for a procedure and the moment that procedure occurs.

When Tom Parker* arrived at the hospital with abdominal pain and a pre-existing kidney condition, before doctors could diagnose and treat him, they needed to know that his body could tolerate the kidney-sensitive contrast agent needed to perform a CT scan which would allow them to see inside his body. A thorough evaluation and blood work revealed Tom’s kidneys could withstand the contrast needed for the scan. However, between the time the CT was ordered, and Tom was to begin prepping for the exam, his condition and kidney function had seriously deteriorated. If administered, the contrast injection could have caused kidney failure, a discovery not made by the doctor or nurse, but flagged by artificial intelligence (AI).

AI helped detect Tom’s kidney condition, flagged it to staff, who subsequently called off the scan that could have put him into kidney failure.

Debbie Harkins and Ann Cole are part of the GE Healthcare team who developed the AI, or what they call “tiles,” that pull data from a variety of sources to feed information to GE Healthcare’s mission control-style command centers. At the heart of the command center lies a centrally located hub that houses a Wall of Analytics (WOA), displayed on a bank of monitors in the center and accessible on mobile devices. The WOA processes real-time data from multiple sources across the hospital and triggers staff to act.

In Tom’s case, the tiles helped identify the risk while the hospital’s command center staff mitigated and responded in real-time. But for consistent outcomes to occur day to day, minute by minute, across an entire system, it takes more than a wall of monitors and responders. “All elements of the Command Center came together for the benefit of the patient in this instance,” said Debbie. “This included a pre-defined protocol for this type of situation, an empowered expediter, a data model that looks across IT systems and modules in real-time, a tile that visualizes the alert, a central dedicated hub within the hospital where such oversight takes place and immediate action occurs.”

Debbie, a practicing nurse, brings an MBA and more than 25 years of practical healthcare expertise to the GE Healthcare team, a combination of skills that helps her recommend the roles and responsibilities of the staff that works inside the Command Center along with the actions needed to come out of the data to affect change. “The reason the Command Center is successful is the analytics, but it’s enhanced when the right people are in the room working as one team. It’s critical to have people accountable for driving actions as an output of the analytics,” said Debbie.

Ann focuses on the data that comes into the Command Center, maps out the workflow for hospital employees and applies data to that workflow to create analytics.  Her background in imaging, women’s health and hospital administration has given her the experience where she can bring data to life. “The experience that Debbie and I have had in hospitals working on the frontlines and being able to relay that to non-clinical people is a very important piece to this project,” said Ann. “It’s not about the equipment as much as it’s about the components within the analytics that can drive change and improve patient care in an effective manner.”

Both women agree that one of the biggest challenges when building the Command Center was data integration. “You’re trying to meld a variety of source systems into one,” said Debbie. After figuring out how to get the systems integrated, the team then turned their efforts to the people. “Data is data; it doesn’t lie. What was hard was to get people to look at the data in a different way,” commented Ann. “Change management is a big focus for the team when collaborating with the teams,” according to Debbie.

“I’ve been in the [healthcare] field for 40 years,” comments Ann. “When I think about caring for patients, I think about the triad of health: quality, access, and cost. I’m always thinking of health as a product of an individual. ‘How can I make a better product of that patient’s health?’ I can make their health product better quality and can also save money by helping hospitals operate more efficiently. We’re approaching health in such a different way and I have a passion to work to affect the health of patients.”

“I feel passionately that [the Command Center] is a game changer in Healthcare,” said Debbie. “We can now have transparency across organizations so we can make really good decisions. In the future, this can allow us to be proactive rather than reactive. It’s really exciting.”

*Tom Parker’s name was changed to protect the identity of the patient. 

Topics: Command Center

Command Centers in Healthcare

Posted by Matthew Smith on Mar 9, 2018 3:02:53 PM

This overview describes a trend by large tertiary/quaternary multi-location hospital systems to adopt command centers equipped with new predictive analytics to improve quality, efficiency, and patient outcomes. (Click here for an instant PDF download of this overview).


Health systems are unique but have similar challenges. Most face a new normal of more than 90 percent occupancy, resulting from changing demographics, the relative infancy of population health efforts, and little investment in new acute capacity. As a result, major providers worldwide are operating at record-high levels of occupancy and utilization.

The Problem

In this environment, it is increasingly difficult to provide reliably affordable, accessible, efficient, and safe patient care. This manifests in problems such as staff fatigue, declined transfers, ED and PACU boarding, excess days, sub-optimal implementation of pathways, inefficient utilization of staff, and imbalanced resource utilization across the system.

Providers have invested in a range of tools to address these challenges: Lean, EMR, electronic bed boards, workflow software, and real-time location systems (RTLS). These tools are important but not sufficient to manage the “new normal” of 90 percent+routine inpatient occupancy. Moreover, a wealth of data being created in IT systems and machines is not being put to work for real-time action.

What’s missing is a central node with the information, authority, and wherewithal to anticipate, identify, and resolve bottlenecks, delays, and risk. This node is the healthcare analog to the air traffic control tower or NASA mission control.

A New Tool: Hospital Command Centers

Having the capability to anticipate, detect, and mitigate risk in real time, command centers complement other performance improvement tools. Command centers are multi-purpose and scalable; they evolve over time like smartphones building on the cultural and technology infrastructure.

They create value by:

  • Supporting front-line care teams
  • Focusing decision makers, empowering them to take action, and equipping them with predictive information to act in real-time
  • Providing a center of gravity for culture, learning, and continuous improvement
  • Offering wide-ranging scope that can span complex care management, delays in care, continuum patient flow, scheduling, clinical deterioration, patient safety, eICU, virtual care, and more.

Leading providers with legacy transfer centers, bed management centers and resource centers are replacing them with command centers because of several key advantages. The new centers:

  • Offer multi-purpose flexibility and scalability
  • Manage patients into, through and out of the hospital
  • Manage patient safety and experience, not just bed management or transfers.
  • Include care management and strategy, not just housekeeping and transport.
  • Incorporate predictive and prescriptive decision support tools, not just dashboards from IT systems.

Proof of Concept

The Johns Hopkins Hospital opened the Judy Reitz Command Center (JRCC), the first of its kind globally, in February 2016. GE designed, implemented, and activated the JRCCC as part of an overall transformation program that has delivered step-function improvements in ED boarding, OR holds, and declined transfers despite the hospital routinely operating above 95 percent occupancy.

Humber River Hospital opened a Command Centre (HRCC) in November 2017. GE designed, implemented, and activated the HRCC as part of an overall transformation program focused on improving quality of care, throughput, access, and cost.

Evidence from this proof of concept suggests that healthcare command centers can have significant impact as the centerpiece of an overall efficiency agenda. In addition to real-time action, the JRCC has become a highly visible center of gravity enabling overall efficiency.

GE Healthcare’s Approach

Typically, command centers are the centerpiece of an overall transformation. Transformation starts with discovery and then proceeds in two work-streams: first, reengineer the system using a digital twin to target process improvements and second, design the command center for real-time, all-the-time optimization.

GE “tiles” trigger command center staff to act with finely-tuned decision support based on a cross-system data model outside the EMR. A typical command center has 10-20 tiles that stream information within the command center and to staff across the hospital via smartphones, PCs, tablets, and other devices.

Command center design begins by crystallizing problems during the discovery phase. The GE team then leads clients through a problem-back design process to develop functional requirements, which may include functions, staff, location and floor plan, source systems, actions, analytics, and a multi-generational plan.

Once the design is approved, GE works with the client-selected architect to fully specify and build the space. In parallel, GE builds the Wall of Analytics™ which delivers tiles to users and integrates with the video wall in the command center. GE also works extensively with staff to socialize the concept, plan actions, rehearse, and ultimately activate the command center to deliver impact. GE Healthcare drives the overall program from inception to sustainable outcomes.

Command Fig1.png


The program at Johns Hopkins delivered a step-function improvement in key indicators that has been sustained, including:

  • Patient transfers from other hospitals – Johns Hopkins has seen a 60 percent improvement in the ability to accept patients with complex medical conditions from other hospitals.
  • Ambulance pickup – Johns Hopkins’ critical care team is now dispatched 63 minutes sooner to pick up patients from outside hospitals.
  • Emergency Department – Once a decision is made to admit a patient from the Emergency Department, the bed is assigned 30 percent faster. Patients are transferred 26 percent faster after they are assigned a bed.
  • Operating room – Transfer delays from the operating room after a procedure have been reduced by 70 percent.
  • Patient discharges – 21 percent more patients are now discharged before noon, compared to the previous year.

What’s Next?

Like every command center, the JRCC is expanding to tackle new problems for patients, families and caregivers. The scope has already expanded to throughput and the team is planning to address clinical outcomes and cost.

What’s Different?

The command centers described here are different from the many existing transfer centers, bed management centers and resource centers. Leading providers with these legacy smaller centers are already replacing them with command centers. These new centers are multi-purpose and scalable. They manage patients into, through and out of the hospital. They manage patient safety and experience, not just bed management or transfers. They include care management and strategy not just housekeeping and transport. They also incorporate predictive and prescriptive decision support tools, not just dashboards from IT systems.

Command Fig2.png

Topics: Command Center

Humber River Hospital Breaks New Ground with the Opening of Canada’s First Hospital Command Centre

Posted by Matthew Smith on Nov 30, 2017 8:58:22 AM

November 30, 2017

Toronto, ON – Today Humber River Hospital (HRH) opens Canada’s first hospital Command Centre built in collaboration with GE Healthcare Partners (GEHC), addressing capacity, safety, quality and wait time issues that have preoccupied hospitals across Canada. The impact of the Command Centre will be felt immediately by patients, physicians and care providers.

“As North America’s first fully digital hospital with a commitment to high reliability care, our cutting-edge technology, insight-rich data and human expertise comes together through the Command Centre to create an excellent patient experience that is both timely and safe,” states Barbara Collins, President and CEO of HRH.

“Ontario is a place where today's innovative ideas are fast becoming tomorrow's world-renowned scientific, medical and technological breakthroughs,” said Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science. “Congratulations to everyone at Humber River Hospital and GE Healthcare Partners for advancing innovation in Ontario, and for helping deliver the best in care to patients and their families.”

HRH began its digital transformation back in 2005 when planning started for the new site of the Humber River hospital, which opened October 2015. Since going fully digital, HRH has experienced a 20% increase in benefit and efficiency. Now, with the addition of HRH’s Command Centre, the hospital expects to double benefit and efficiency to 40%.

“Whether it be the flu season that brings with it an influx of patients to the emergency department every year, or the fact that Canada has an aging and growing population, there are always pressures, both expected and unexpected, in acute care hospitals,” says Collins. “The digital transformation and command centre are focal points of our strategy to deal with these pressures.”

“Over the next few months, the Command Centre will enable an increase in capacity equivalent to opening a small community hospital within our walls,” explains Collins.

The Command Centre includes a Wall of AnalyticsTM that provides advanced real-time and predictive insight, which triggers cross-functional staff co-located in the Command Centre to take action. This team works together to synchronize care delivery activities (e.g. patient discharge), eliminate delays in care and resolve patient flow bottlenecks (e.g. transferring patients from emergency to an inpatient bed) as soon as they are detected in the Command Centre. The alerts and actions that come to life daily in HRH’s Command Centre will also provide the basis for analysis and process re-engineering by staff throughout the hospital so that certain issues can be avoided altogether.

“Humber’s Quality Command Centre is all about action in support of care-teams and patients,” said Jeff Terry, Managing Principal of GEHC Partners. “It’s an honor to serve the Humber River Hospital team. Humber River is in the vanguard of a global command center ecosystem that is creating new tools and methods to improve quality and efficiency in healthcare.”

The Command Centre plan is a multi-generational roll-out that drives increased capacity, improvements to quality care, and a high reliability environment. Future phases will further enhance high reliability care and will allow the hospital to partner with the community so that more patients will be able to be cared for at home.  

Collins said “The Command Centre contributes to the HRH vision of working together to deliver innovative and compassionate health care in our community.”

Capacity Command Centers


The Command Centre is located in a 4,500 square foot space. The Command Centre includes 20 workstations, 22 LED screens.


Jane Casey, Command Centre Director at Humber River Hospital, stands before the Centre's Wall of Analytics.


L-R Dr. Susan Tory, Command Centre Medical Director; Jane Casey, Command Centre Director
 The Humber River Hospital Command Centre team monitoring real-time data from their work stations.

 All photos courtesy of Humber River Hospital



Topics: Command Center, Humber River Hospital

Humber River Hospital Opening State-of-the-Art Command Center

Posted by Matthew Smith on Oct 30, 2017 3:40:48 PM

Courtesy of

Staff at Humber River Hospital will soon be able to tell when a bed is free, if an area needs cleaning, or there is a delay in patient care.

North America’s first fully digital hospital will open its state-of-the-art, digitally-advanced Command Centre which uses complex algorithms, predictive analytics, and engineering to target improved clinical, operational and patient outcomes, Thursday, Nov. 30.

A first of its kind in a Canadian hospital, the 4,500 square-foot Command Centre, to be situated on the third floor of the Keele Street and Wilson Avenue hospital, will be made up of 26 screens and staffed by a team of 15 from various hospital departments.

Designed and built with GE Healthcare Partners, the site will include a GE Wall of Analytics processing real-time data from multiple source systems across hospital. The system applies advanced and predictive analytics and provides a continuous “read out” alerting staff to everything from delayed patient care activity to unbalanced physician and staff workload. This information provides real-time decision support so staff can prioritize patient care activities and discharges, make short-term staffing decisions, and mitigate potential bottlenecks before they occur.

The Command Centre will be funded through ongoing business investments, private donations, and efficiency savings.

For Barb Collins, the Command Centre has been 12 years in the making.

That’s when Humber River Hospital’s president and CEO met Michael Dell, founder of Dell Technologies, who explained the capability of monitoring computers based around the world.

She likened the hospital’s Command Centre to airport command centres, where flights are monitored in detail.

“We’ll know what’s going on throughout the hospital,” she said. “We’ll be looking at patient flows, what beds are available. Is a patient waiting two hours (for test results)? Why? Right now, there’s no global view of what’s happening. (Staff) have to phone or email each other. With the Command Centre, all they have to do is look at the screens. We are trying to eliminate delays.”

Collins said the hospital had to become fully digital before embarking on the Command Centre because “there was no way we could collect data before electronic hospital records became real. This is a dream come true.”

Topics: Command Center

Humber River Hospital in Toronto Turns to Advanced Analytics to Improve Patient Care

Posted by Matthew Smith on Jul 26, 2017 11:36:47 AM

As populations grow and age, many hospitals are being stretched past their limits. Rather than apply temporary or partial fixes to address the challenges that underlie this busy, acute care hospital, Toronto’s Humber River Hospital has chosen to implement a holistic, state-of-the-art hospital Command Center that will enable it to achieve radical gains in quality and efficiency.

The hospital partnered with GE Healthcare Partners to conceive, design, and build the new 4,500 square-foot Command Center, a cornerstone of which will be GE’s Wall of Analytics that processes real-time data from multiple source systems across the hospital. Using complex algorithms, predictive analytics and cutting-edge engineering, the hospital intends to do two seemingly contradictory things: improve quality of care and patient access while at the same time reducing costs.

That may sound like an out-sized ambition, but there’s a good precedent for such a radical increase in efficiency: airports. Air traffic control technology was a guiding inspiration as GE designed a better way to extend reliable healthcare to meet the needs of more patients.

Blue-Sky Thinking

The introduction of air traffic control technology in the 1960s allowed airports to swiftly transition from scheduling a few hundred flights a day to managing thousands. Whereas, the volumes of aircraft and flights have increased tenfold, they all vie for the same space. Many airports now see millions of passengers pass through every day.

Despite the vast complexity of such a logistical challenge, the airline industry became significantly safer and more efficient in the process. So it’s no surprise that when GE Healthcare began developing a comprehensive approach to enable hospitals to better manage congestion, they modelled their solution on air traffic control.

Adding a digital Command Center was a natural fit for Humber River Hospital, not only because it’s recognized as North America’s first fully digital hospital, but also because the busy facility must serve a region representing more than 850,000 people. 

The extremely high demand became quickly apparent. After construction of the new hospital was completed in 2015, the hospital was slated to reach full capacity in five years. Instead, they reached that point in just five months.

“We’re at full capacity and we’re only going to see more and more patients through our front door. How are we going to deal with that?” asks Peter Bak, the hospital’s CIO. “We can’t just say, Sorry, you’re going to wait longer. That’s not acceptable.”

Powered by Digital

Bak and his team have overseen the implementation of the many tools that earned the hospital its high-tech notoriety, from software that empowers patients to review their own health records, to fully automated robotic systems for delivering supplies and dispensing medication.

These digital systems offer incredible efficiency, quality and safety benefits. For example, a doctor at Humber River Hospital can expect the results from a lab test in under sixty minutes, guaranteed. In a traditional hospital, the same manual process can take up to four hours and is prone to labelling errors and other defects.

But even though Humber River Hospital’s digital approach has yielded great results, it has not yet been fully harnessed. What the Command Center will do is amplify the impact generated from digitized processes, work flow and information flow by offering a holistic real-time view of how the hospital is operating.

Seeing the Big Picture

“People work in their focus area, and so they don’t see the big picture,” Bak explains. “They’re not seeing what’s happening at the other end of the hospital, and how what they do might have a bearing on what’s happening somewhere else.”

The aim of the Command Center is to empower a team of co-located staff to monitor, prioritize and expedite activities with the goal of driving far greater efficiencies. At Humber River Hospital, those efficiencies are anticipated to enable the hospital to deliver care to more patients with the same number of beds its operates today, and avoid a projected shortfall of 40 or 50 medicine beds by the year 2021.

Increased capacity isn’t the only outcome that the hospital is anticipating from its new Command Center. Another is improved reliability. “We need to drive hospitals to a point where they don’t make errors,” says Bak. “The Command Center acts as a second set of eyes and allows us to reduce the potential for mistakes.” By integrating systems and applying analytics a small team can observe the “outliers” and intervene ensuring that delays will not go unidentified, resources will not go under-utilized and patient care actions are taken accordingly.

The Command Center will also enable much better integration across levels of care. “We want the hospital to be the hub of an ecosystem that drives health for the 850,000 people in our community,” Bak explains. “Instead of patients having to physically go to the hospital to access specialty services for diagnosing and monitoring a condition, in many instances the patient can remain in the community and be serviced remotely with the use of technology.” Someone in the Command Centre will be monitoring, intercepting risk and expediting action when it is required, using analytics powerful enough to monitor the status of thousands of people, and not just the ones in the physical building.

“There are plenty of digital tools to make healthcare better, but they’re less effective when they are working independently of one another,” explains Bak. “Humber River Hospital’s new Command Center provides the much-needed synthesis to make all those systems work together.” The outcome? Reliable, high-quality care for more people.

Topics: Command Center, Hospital Command Center, Wall of Analytics

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