with the data and metrics. Anecdotes and influence often prevail over objective data,” they say.

And while EHR reports, dashboards and business intelligence tools have lots of good information and maintain meticu- lous records of every encounter, LeanTaaS leaders believe that they only generate his- torical views and provide high-level direc- tion, leaving the optimization challenge as an exercise for the reader of the reports.

A solution to transform OR performance Enter LeanTaaS’ iQueue for Operating Rooms solution, which uses predictive analytics, mobile technologies, and cloud- based tools to unlock OR capacity, create a more surgeon-centric process for mea- suring utilization, and provide objective, data-driven metrics to improve transpar- ency, according to company officials. As explained by company leaders, the solution consists of three modules: exchange, analyze, and collect: The exchange module identifies and exposes the available inventory of open time to sur- geons and clinics needing OR time through an “OpenTable”-like tool for open time. The collect module, meanwhile, mines patterns of OR usage by block owner, surgeon and service line to identify truly repurposable chunks of time—dubbed “collectable block time” at LeanTaaS—as a means of providing perioperative lead- ers with actionable guidance about how to redistribute underutilized blocks to new or existing surgeons without impacting existing case volume. Collect answers the question, “who can we take time away from without disrupting the whole block schedule?” And then analyze monitors OR performance and applies machine learn- ing to provide forward-looking actionable guidance for surgeons and OR managers. It helps surgeons be more proactive and productive by sending timely mobile

“The big vision is by unlocking capacity node by node and connecting them together, we can make the flight path of a patient much more seam- less, just like the airports have done.”

-- Sanjeev Agrawal

alerts that tell them how they’re contribut- ing to OR volumes, how their performance metrics are trending, and ways to improve their utilization.

Results from provider customers who have used the iQueue for Operating Rooms solution—which is currently in 900 ORs across the U.S.—include: a 3 to 5 per- cent higher prime time utilization (worth more than $500,000 per OR per year); significantly increased access for surgeons looking for OR time; higher patient satis- faction from getting their procedures done

can look at booking patterns historically and can tell you that on Mondays, here is your pattern of behavior of the volume and mix that patients will show up,” Agrawal explains. “So, the first thing I would tell organizations is not to get fooled by analytics solving the problem for you; take a dive deep into asking yourself, ‘what is this analytics going to

sooner; planned, predicted days lead to more productive staff; and the ability to delay opening new ORs, company execu- tives note. More specific examples include UCHealth in Colorado increasing its OR utilization by 4 percent, adding more than $10 million in revenue; MultiCare, in Tacoma, Wash., increasing available OR minutes by 300 percent; OhioHealth repurposing 12 blocks per month; and NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Method- ist Hospital increasing its cases per day by 13 percent.

Speaking to the broader issue of data analytics in healthcare, Agrawal remarks that while some companies in this space sell clients on dashboards, those types of solutions are what he calls “descriptive analytics,” and can fool customers into thinking that this alone will solve their problems. In reality, he contends, what’s needed are “prescriptive and predictive analytics,” tools such as Waze that use artificial intelligence to forecast certain roads that should be avoided. “Here, you are predicting something based on what has happened in the past to help you do better in the future,” says Agrawal. In the OR space, that can mean pre- dicting who is unlikely to use their block time well, leading to operations staff to release that time early and make it accessible to others. “Why? Because I can mine patterns of booking in the past and come up with the probability of the use of block time. In the infusion space, I

do for me that I can take action on, mea- sure the results from, and see value?’” Moving forward, Agrawal draws a comparison to the airline industry, which he notes has done a great job in unlock- ing capacity by giving patients more tools to check in for flights, get their boarding passes ahead of time, and print their own codes to check their bags. “If you think about this in graph theory, there are nodes and edges. A node is you as a pas- senger getting dropped off at the airport curbside, checking in, waiting at security, etc. There are many points where you as a passenger get stuck, and in healthcare it’s no different—patients wait, get treated, and then wait some more.” LeanTaaS currently works with more than 200 organizations in the U.S., and one goal is getting into more hospitals, notes Agrawal. But beyond that, there are dozens of more hospital assets that company leaders believe they can unlock capacity for, in addition to the ones they are already doing such work for. “We want to have more organizations use our products, we want to have more products we build and take to market, and eventually we want to connect the dots and build the equivalent of an air traffic control. The big vision is by unlocking capacity node by node and connecting them together, we can make the flight path of a patient much more seamless, just like the airports have done,” he says. HI


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