Hospital administration has historically relied on highly manual processes, leading to delays in decision-making and patient care. But the rising use of analytics, machine learning, and AI is changing all that, a trend exemplified by healthcare consortium Kaiser Permanente, which set about overhauling the data operations of its 39 hospitals and more than 700 medical offices in the U.S in 2015.
“Waiting for an available bed during an emergency room visit or hospital admission, or waiting for discharge, is frustrating for patients and inefficient for hospital operations,” says Dick Daniels, executive vice president and CIO at Kaiser Permanente. “Many data points are necessary to make these processes efficient, including hospital census, bed demand, room cleaning and availability, pending discharges, and many others.”
That data came from multiple sources manually compiled into reports, a resource-intensive process that often resulted in information that was outdated and not actionable. Daniels says it also involved extensive communication via phone or text messages.
“KP’s clinical and operational leaders identified these challenges as key opportunities to improve care delivery and patient satisfaction while improving efficiency in daily operations,” Daniels says.
The result was the creation of the “Insight Driven” program, which has earned Kaiser Permanente a CIO 100 Award in IT Excellence.