Data Analytics Winner: LeanTaaS

By Rajiv Leventhal T

he Healthcare Innovation/Healthcare Informatics Innovator Awards Pro- gram, for more than a decade, has

honored those at the forefront of healthcare IT innovation with its Innovator Awards Program that recognizes leadership teams from provider organizations across the U.S. that have effectively deployed information technology in order to improve clinical, administrative, fi nancial, or organizational performance. As part of the program, over the last few years, we have opened up nominations to vendor solution compa- nies as well. This year, the vendor track of the Innovator Awards Program entailed four product categories that solution pro- viders could submit toward: Value-Based Care, Patient Engagement, Data Analytics, and Data Security. The team at Healthcare Innovation earlier this year announced the winning companies in each of these four product segments: Value-Based Care: CitiusTech; Patient Engagement: Pegasys- tems; Data Security: Protenus; and Data Analytics: LeanTaaS. In this November/ December issue, we profi le the Data Ana- lytics category winner, LeanTaaS. In hospitals and health systems around the country, executive and operational leaders continue to try to identify the right solution upgrades that could solve a spe- cifi c problem. What they’re often left with is an enterprise full of assets they have paid for but are not getting the most out of. Indeed, while these assets continue to get enhanced over time, which will hope- fully lead to better quality care and cost savings, another key element is how these organizations will effectively use them in the most effi cient way possible. There are about 5,000 hospitals in the U.S, and each one may have spent, on average, $2 million on various assets, lead- ing to approximately $1 trillion in assets in the form of operating rooms (ORs), inpa- tient beds, MRI machines, and cancer and infusion centers, just to name a few, says Sanjeev Agrawal, the president and chief marketing offi cer of LeanTaaS, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based company that uses data science and machine learning to develop

solutions that help healthcare companies streamline their operations. “We have this supply of assets and a demand that is being generated by patient visits—and that demand for healthcare is going to go up even faster than it ever has—so, we continue to need more care across our health systems, but we cannot spend our way to freedom. We have to be much more operationally excellent and optimize the use of each of these assets we have created,” Agrawal says. Offering an example inside hospitals, Agrawal notes that on any given day, there are chunks of time not being used at any set of ORs. So, there might be 20 ORs and some could be idle for portions of the day, but cases actually could have been going on. Meanwhile, there are other ORs in the same hospital that service until 9 p.m.

“The tools being used to schedule and to predict what’s going to happen, and to prescribe what needs to happen in order to fi t more patients in at lower costs, just don’t exist. And that’s because EHRs are data- bases. It’s like if you have a Charles Schwab account to trade, but it doesn’t tell you what to trade.” -- Sanjeev Agrawal

“Part of the problem is last minute add- ons and emergencies, but a bigger issue is terrible demand-supply matching. The tools being used to schedule and to predict what’s going to happen, and to prescribe what needs to happen in order to fi t more


Company leaders believe in using predictive and prescriptive analytics to unlock OR capacity and create a more surgeon-centric process for measuring utilization

Sanjeev Agrawal

patients in at lower costs, just don’t exist. And that’s because EHRs are databases. It’s like if you have a Charles Schwab account to trade, but it doesn’t tell you what to trade,” he contends. The OR specifi cally, says Agrawal, is the “economic backbone of the hospital, and given the way time is allocated and used, there is always a supply-demand mis- match for a variety of reasons. What we have found is that through better demand- supply matching, you can unlock any- where between 10 to 15 percent of capacity, which is huge. Every minute of OR time is worth $100 on average, so if you have 10 ORs and you use one or one-and-a-half of them more each year than you [other- wise] would, each day is worth $50,000 for you—that’s a remarkable amount of revenue,” he explains.

Agrawal adds that a lot of the ineffi cien-

cies in the way OR time is managed result from broken processes based on “bad mathematics” and anecdotal/manual ways of decision making. For example, up to 20 percent of allocated

time often

goes underutilized because of vacations, conferences, teaching obligations, or lack of volume. But this time should be opened up sooner and made available transpar- ently. What’s more, traditional metrics like “block utilization” are not just mathemati- cally fl awed, they also lead to the wrong conclusions; two block owners with the same utilization numbers can have a vastly different amount of “reusable time” that can be used to fi t cases in, company offi cials note.

As such, they add, “Despite hundreds of hours spent assembling multiple OR reports, there is often no single source of truth, the data is hard to access, and often surgeons and administrators don’t engage

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