Dallas hospital to deploy NASA technology to improve patient flow

By Bernie Monegain
10:28 AM
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Medical City, with more than 1,150 physicians as part of its medical team, will roll out new technology to enhance patient flow throughout the Dallas-based hospital.

Medical City executives have tapped Menlo Park, Calif.-based Allocade, Inc., for its On-Cue system, which employs artificial intelligence to automate patient flow throughout the hospital and improve operational efficiencies by creating a dynamic patient itinerary. Medical City is part of the Hospital Corporation of America.

Once On-Cue is deployed, all departments at Medical City will have a common view of each patient's daily itinerary, which will be adjusted in real-time as variables change.

"We are constantly looking at new technologies for all of our hospitals to improve workflow and the overall patient experience," said Stan Seremet, CIO pof the North Texas division of the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA). "The new On-Cue system addresses these objectives by providing a layer of intelligence over our existing IT systems to ensure that all departments are coordinated and operate smoothly. We believe the On-Cue system will help us to realize efficiency gains throughout Medical City as well as positively impact operating margins."

Hospitals are constantly dealing with unpredictable and unplanned changes that affect every department, including radiology, cardiology, surgery, nursing, transport and the emergency department, said Accolade executives. Ensuring smooth patient flow can be a monumental challenge for hospitals, they said.

The On-Cue system was designed to minimize the impact of unpredictable disruptions in scheduling across the hospital by streamlining coordination and communications among all caregivers.

"We immediately understood the benefits of On-Cue and how it could positively impact the patient experience," said Britt Berrett, MD, the CEO of Medical City. "Because On-Cue offers a powerful enterprise solution that runs almost like an air traffic controller, it keeps patient activity on track across all departments. As a result, patients benefit from a smoother experience and Medical City benefits from improved utilization of existing resources."

The genesis of the On-Cue technology comes from Allocade's founder and chief technology officer, Don Rosenthal, who led the Artificial Intelligence Applications Group at the NASA Ames Research Center. The On-Cue engine is the result of Rosenthal's work to use the limited resources of the Hubble Space Telescope.

On-Cue's software leverages the information already available in hospital information systems radiology information systems and electronic medical record systems.

"As a part of our commitment to our fiscal responsibility, we are always looking for innovative and effective ways to improve our bottom line," said Scott Schmidly, the COO of Medical City. "On-Cue provides us with a solution that will recommend the best course of action in real-time, enabling us to optimize our resources. By streamlining coordination and communication between our departments, we believe we can generate real costs savings which can do nothing but provide greater benefits to our patients and our organization."