Transforming health management: Vall d’Hebron hospital
1. A new management model
October 8th, 2018, Dr. Juan Antonio Hueto gave a lecture in the city of Manchester in which he explained the keys for a hospital to transform its traditional management model to one that applies the LEAN philosophy; a model that places the patient in the center of hospital processes. To do this, he used his experience at the Vall d’Hebron Hospital, a leader in the application of these methodologies.
Dr. Juan Antonio Hueto begins his lecture at the event “Urgent and Emergency Care: Facilitating Patient Flow”
A traditional management model is structured in a hierarchical way, with a fragmented vision between the different departments that usually leads to a lack of communication between health units.
On the other hand, a LEAN model is patient oriented, with an integral vision of its process in the hospital emphasizing communicative and cooperative actions between departments.
When applying this transformation in the Vall d’Hebron hospital, a new figure appears, the Process Engineer, who is able to analyze the clinical process and redesign it to look for improvement points. Specific objectives were established from this work:
• Improve the performance of operating rooms to work at full capacity.
• Improve the flow of patients by identifying and correcting bottlenecks, wastes of time and errors.
• Improve the availability of information for health personnel.
• Eliminate verbal instructions where possible with automatic tasks that can be measured and prioritized.
• Improve the response to unforeseen situations without creating efficiency problems.
With this ambition, the hospital sought the necessary support in new technologies. Specifically, on the Internet of Things platform developed by MYSPHERA.
2. The importance of technology
“What is not measured, cannot be managed,” with this quote from Peter Drucker, Dr. Juan Antonio Hueto introduced MYSPHERA’s innovative solution in Manchester. MYSPHERA deploys a Bluetooth network in the hospital that communicates with sensors, screens, smartphones, tablets, and other compatible devices. One of these sensors is a bracelet-shaped locator that serves to obtain the traceability of patients, a key in measuring processes and optimizing them.
“We were looking for an accurate, reliable, transparent, and systematic measurement. We wanted to base all our decisions on data, and for that it is necessary to trust them, something problematic if they are collected manually.” Explained Dr. Hueto, who listed the main characteristics of the solution:
• Safely identify patients, something essential in the surgical block, since during a good part of the process they are sedated or with some type of anesthesia.
• Shows the information through panels in real time, something crucial to be able to manage the block.
• Offers data analysis tools that allow the study of the process for further improvement.
• Communicates with the home automation system of the operating rooms to reduce expenses in lighting and air conditioning, activating the sleeping mode when the room is not in use.
• Integrates with Electronical Medical Records (EMR)
• Informs patients’ relatives in real time about the state of the surgical process.
• Launches automatic tasks to different actors in the process to reduce downtime and eliminate verbal instructions as much as possible.
About this last point, the system stands out for the support of the team of porters, who receive tasks on their smartphone to move patients between the different areas of the block, and provide specific equipment or go to provide assistance.
Features of MYSPHERA
3. Analyzing the results
The transformation process of the Vall d’Hebron hospital began in 2015, and MYSPHERA deployed its system in 2017, enough time to analyze the impact of the new system as a result.
In the General Hospital building, where the new system was implanted, surgical performance increased by 10%, in just one year. To understand what this means, we could say that the surgical rooms worked the equivalent of a year of thirteen months as compared to previous periods. The number of interventions translates into an increase of more than 3,000 surgeries, highlighting the impact on the management of urgent and minor surgeries, which were increased by 16% and 7% respectively.
“The results stand out especially in the Daily Surgery Unit. If you get another hour of surgical activity, you can add another surgery to the same session, and the impact on the number of interventions is much greater.” Noted Dr. Hueto before the attentive gaze of the assistants. “The improvement is also very important in the management of emergency surgeries and transplants. Now we know exactly the average times of the different types of operations, and also those of the surgeons, establishing deviation standards for each case. This is something incredibly useful for the organization and daily planning of interventions.”
Evolution of the number of surgeries
4. Commitment is the key
To conclude the conference, Dr. Juan Antonio Hueto wanted to highlight the necessary commitment of all clinical professionals to undertake a transformation profound like that of the hospital in Barcelona.
“We don’t want to load our professionals with added work in front of the computer. It is a matter of improving daily work. The objective of this new management is to work better, improving cooperation between all the actors in the process, from the porters to the surgeons.”
Vall d’Hebron Hospital is currently expanding the project to the rest of the surgical blocks as a result of the incredible results obtained from this transformation.
The future of hospital management involves embracing these new technologies and methodologies that place the patient at the center of clinical processes and lead to improved safety, efficiency, satisfaction, and economic savings.
Dr. Hueto during the lecture