Welcome!

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Agile Computing

@CloudExpo: Blog Post

Improving Operational Efficiency in Healthcare | @CloudExpo #API #Cloud #Analytics

Combining lean thinking with predictive analytics and advanced optimization algorithms to drive improvements

Improving Operational Efficiency in Healthcare
By Mohan Giridharadas, Founder and CEO, LeanTaaS

The notion of improving operational efficiency is conspicuously absent from the healthcare debate - neither Obamacare nor the newly proposed GOP plan discusses the impact that a step-function improvement in efficiency could have on access to healthcare (through more capacity), quality of healthcare services (through reduced wait times for patients) or cost (through better utilization of scarce, expensive assets).

The opportunity of improving operational efficiency in health systems is plainly visible - a quick walk around any hospital or clinic will show the obvious symptoms: waiting rooms filled with people while the very piece of equipment for which they are waiting remains idle and patients spending 90 minutes or more to obtain a quick consultation or a check of their vital signs which collectively requires less than 10 minutes for a provider and/or their assistant to complete.

The traditional approaches of process improvement - using lean, Six Sigma or some other methodology - have run their course and, in most cases, only deliver modest improvement when considering the enormous resource burden they place on the organization and the months it takes for the impact to be tangible. We are at a pivotal point in time; the convergence of multiple enabling technologies makes it possible for us to drive a step-change improvement in operational efficiency that far exceeds anything that we could have imagined to be possible even a few short years ago. Specifically, this includes the massive digitization of patient data; the internet of things providing real-time data on the movements of patients, providers or assets; the emergence of machine learning and artificial intelligence; the democratization of predictive analytics from the ivory towers of academic institutions to organizations everywhere; the growth of massively scalable, secure cloud infrastructure; the ubiquity of smartphones and mobile apps; and the list goes on. We have seen this phenomenon in other contexts; Uber, Snapchat, Instagram and many other "unicorns" could not have existed had the smartphone not become prevalent.

Combining lean thinking with predictive analytics, machine learning, and advanced optimization algorithms and embedding it into scalable software products can drive dramatic improvements in the operational efficiencies of individual units in a hospital. Hospitals are a complex interconnected network of individual units - labs, imagining departments, pharmacies, infusion centers, operating rooms, etc. - each of which provides a specific service. In any interconnected network of units, it is much more effective to optimize the individual units before seeking to optimize the interconnections. Hence, UPS and FedEx will optimize their sorting hubs and warehouses as much as possible before worrying about their drivers driving faster.

This approach has yielded tremendous results. For example:

  • At ~60 infusion centers across the country, patient wait times during peak hours have been reduced by 30-55 percent and the effective capacity of the centers increased by 15-20 percent as a result of using models that can accurately predict the volume and mix of infusion treatments tailored to each infusion center for each day of the week. These centers have incorporated center-specific parameters (capacity, staff, etc.) into an optimization algorithm that created tailored appointment templates for each hour of each day of the week that consistently deliver against the core lean principle of "heijunka" - or level loading - which reduces the wait time for patients while balancing the workload for nurses.
  • Approximately 100 operating rooms and ~200 surgeons have been able to improve block and room utilization by 5-7 percentage points by predicting the need for block time for individual surgeons and service lines. Having accurately estimated the demand for block time, algorithms then identify the right supply of blocks by uncovering patterns of underutilized, abandoned or late-release blocks to give each surgeon and service line the right number of blocks of the right length on the right day of the week. Other artificial intelligence algorithms then automatically generate recommendations that encourage surgeons to release blocks that are not likely to be well utilized and even facilitate the "swap" with another surgeon using an OpenTable-like mobile application for block swaps. Blocks swapped in this way performed 12-15 percent better than blocks swapped using the conventional methods of schedulers sending out a flurry of phone calls, emails, faxes and voicemails to assign a newly available block to a surgeon or service line.
  • Predictive models from iQueue Labs have enabled the Emory Winship Cancer Institute to reduce the wait time in the lab from approximately one hour at peak times to less than 15 minutes at peak times. Emory has found that accurately predicting the volume and mix of patients (blood draw versus central line patients) at 15-minute increments for each day of the week makes it possible to correctly staff the number of phlebotomists and LPNs in order to virtually eliminate the wait time for patients. The result is not only a reduction in wait times in the lab; the improvement has also positively affected "downstream" services such as infusion treatments.

These are just three examples. Hospitals have many other opportunities for solving operational challenges that plague them on a daily basis. Other examples include both "supply side" problems (e.g., critical assets such as CT/MRI scanners, blood testing equipment, personnel, etc.) where asset utilization and/or availability are challenges as well as "demand side" problems (e.g., labs, clinics, etc.) where accommodating walk-in or scheduled appointments in a timely manner is a challenge.

A well-functioning air traffic control capability, along with an effective airport operations function, has been able to unlock an enormous capacity for flights out of major airports. For example, Atlanta airport in the mid-1980s only had a few hundred flights per day. Today, they have several thousand flights per day. This was accomplished without a change in the airspace around Atlanta and only a modest increase in the number of runways (from four to five) over this time period. Like health systems, they too have a very stringent requirement on safety - 99.9999 percent safety is simply not good enough since it would imply that society would accept a crash every few days in the United States.

A focus on using sophisticated "lean plus data science plus machine learning plus optimization plus scalable software" to unlock capacity and improve the throughput of the individual units within the hospital will ultimately create an operational "air traffic control" for hospitals - a centralized command and control capability that is truly predictive, learns continuously and uses advanced optimization algorithms and artificial intelligence to deliver prescriptive recommendations throughout the hospital system.

###

Mohan Giridharadas is an accomplished expert in lean methodologies. During his 18-year career at McKinsey & Company (where he was a senior partner/director for six years), he co-created the lean service operations practice and ran the North American lean manufacturing and service operations practices and the Asia-Pacific operations practice. He has helped numerous Fortune 500 companies drive operational efficiency with lean practices.

As the founder and CEO of LeanTaaS (a lean and predictive analytics company), Mohan has worked closely with dozens of leading healthcare institutions including Stanford Health Care, UCHealth, UCSF, Wake Forest and more. He holds a B.Tech from IIT Bombay, MS in Computer Science from Georgia Institute of Technology and an MBA from Stanford GSB. He is on the faculty of Continuing Education at Stanford University and UC Berkeley Haas School of Business and has been named by Becker's Hospital Review as one of the top entrepreneurs innovating in healthcare. For more information on LeanTaaS iQueue, please visit https://iqueue.com/ and follow the company on Twitter @LeanTaaS, Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LeanTaaS and LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/leantaas.

More Stories By LeanTaaS Blog

LeanTaaS is a Silicon Valley software company whose offerings rely on advanced data science to significantly improve the operational performance of hospitals and clinics. Using LeanTaaS iQueue in conjunction with their existing EHR's, healthcare institutions are developing optimized schedules that are tailored to each site and can rapidly reduce patient wait times and operating costs while increasing patient access and satisfaction, care provider satisfaction, and asset utilization.

Latest Stories
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
The current environment of Continuous Disruption requires companies to transform how they work and how they engineer their products. Transformations are notoriously hard to execute, yet many companies have succeeded. What can we learn from them? Can we produce a blueprint for a transformation? This presentation will cover several distinct approaches that companies take to achieve transformation. Each approach utilizes different levers and comes with its own advantages, tradeoffs, costs, risks, a...
Organize your corporate travel faster, at lower cost. Hotailors is a next-gen AI-powered travel platform. What is Hotailors? Hotailors is a platform for organising business travels that grants access to the best real-time offers from 2.000.000+ hotels and 700+ airlines in the whole world. Thanks to our solution you can plan, book & expense business trips in less than 5 minutes. Accordingly to your travel policy, budget limits and cashless for your employees. With our reporting, int...
This sixteen (16) hour course provides an introduction to DevOps, the cultural and professional movement that stresses communication, collaboration, integration and automation in order to improve the flow of work between software developers and IT operations professionals. Improved workflows will result in an improved ability to design, develop, deploy and operate software and services faster.
Enterprises are universally struggling to understand where the new tools and methodologies of DevOps fit into their organizations, and are universally making the same mistakes. These mistakes are not unavoidable, and in fact, avoiding them gifts an organization with sustained competitive advantage, just like it did for Japanese Manufacturing Post WWII.
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
There's no doubt that blockchain technology is a powerful tool for the enterprise, but bringing it mainstream has not been without challenges. As VP of Technology at 8base, Andrei is working to make developing a blockchain application accessible to anyone. With better tools, entrepreneurs and developers can work together to quickly and effectively launch applications that integrate smart contracts and blockchain technology. This will ultimately accelerate blockchain adoption on a global scale.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Nutanix has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO New York, which will take place November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Nutanix makes infrastructure invisible, elevating IT to focus on the applications and services that power their business. The Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform blends web-scale engineering and consumer-grade design to natively converge server, storage, virtualization and networking into a resilient, softwar...
Jim leads Wasabi's product management, sales engineering, and customer support efforts. As a veteran of multiple startups and large enterprise organizations, Jim has deep experience in developing, delivering, and supporting products and services that provide security, scalability, and reliability to customers and partners. Prior to Wasabi, Jim served in product management and sales/support engineering roles at Oracle (via Acme Packet and Covergence), Ciena (via WaveSmith Networks), Lucent Te...
When building large, cloud-based applications that operate at a high scale, it’s important to maintain a high availability and resilience to failures. In order to do that, you must be tolerant of failures, even in light of failures in other areas of your application. “Fly two mistakes high” is an old adage in the radio control airplane hobby. It means, fly high enough so that if you make a mistake, you can continue flying with room to still make mistakes. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee A...
Despite being the market leader, we recognized the need to transform and reinvent our business at Dynatrace, before someone else disrupted the market. Over the course of three years, we changed everything - our technology, our culture and our brand image. In this session we'll discuss how we navigated through our own innovator's dilemma, and share takeaways from our experience that you can apply to your own organization.
Whenever a new technology hits the high points of hype, everyone starts talking about it like it will solve all their business problems. Blockchain is one of those technologies. According to Gartner's latest report on the hype cycle of emerging technologies, blockchain has just passed the peak of their hype cycle curve. If you read the news articles about it, one would think it has taken over the technology world. No disruptive technology is without its challenges and potential impediments t...
Founded in 2002 and headquartered in Chicago, Nexum® takes a comprehensive approach to security. Nexum approaches business with one simple statement: “Do what’s right for the customer and success will follow.” Nexum helps you mitigate risks, protect your data, increase business continuity and meet your unique business objectives by: Detecting and preventing network threats, intrusions and disruptions Equipping you with the information, tools, training and resources you need to effectively m...
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (T-Cloud) is a neutral organization for researching new computing models and business opportunities in IoT era. In his session, Ikuo Nakagawa, Co-Founder and Board Member at Transparent Cloud Computing Consortium, will introduce the big change toward the "connected-economy" in the digital age. He'll introduce and describe some leading-edge business cases from his original points of view, and discuss models & strategies in the connected-economy. Nowad...
"DevOps is set to be one of the most profound disruptions to hit IT in decades," said Andi Mann. "It is a natural extension of cloud computing, and I have seen both firsthand and in independent research the fantastic results DevOps delivers. So I am excited to help the great team at @DevOpsSUMMIT and CloudEXPO tell the world how they can leverage this emerging disruptive trend."