Tampa General Hospital to pair AI, human intelligence in NASA-inspired command center — CEO John Couris explains

Tampa (Fla.) General Hospital will soon have new, high-tech means of coordinating patient care.

Under a new agreement with GE Healthcare, TGH, a 1,010-bed teaching hospital, is building a NASA-inspired command center designed to serve as a central mission control.

The hospital — which sees more than 800 patients each day — set aside a 9,000-square foot space for the center, which is slated to open in 2019. It will be one of just a few command centers like it in the world, joining the ranks of The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and the Humber River Hospital in Toronto.

Equipped with artificial intelligence and predictive analytics, the center hopes to better address capacity, quality and wait-time issues. The ultimate goal is to ease staff workloads and better manage employee schedules, as well as make recommendations to inform patient care.

"We want to leverage this system to improve efficiency and shorten the time patients are in the hospital by better managing their care," John Couris, president and CEO of TGH, said in a press release. "This technology will help to reach our goal of providing coordinated patient care after they leave the hospital."

Driving TGH's center is GE's Wall of Analytics, which takes real-time data from multiple sources across the hospital to highlight areas that need assistance so staff manning the center can deploy the right nurse, physician or other care team member. In this way, the command center combines AI with human intelligence to optimize both technology and people.   

Becker's Hospital Review spoke with TGH President and CEO John Couris about its planned command center and what it means to mix human intelligence with AI.

Question: What inspired TGH to explore a command center partnership with GE Healthcare?

John Couris: It’s been used successfully at The Johns Hopkins Hospital so I know it works. I like the holistic approach of looking at the whole hospital operation organically. If we can nail it, what we'll deliver will be sustainable changes that are measurable and can be quantified.

Q: How can other hospitals get started on an initiative such as this?

JC: They first must believe healthcare can be a siloed, fragmented industry that can do better. They also must believe fragmentation leads to inefficiency and unnecessary costs.

Q: One of the industry's top fears with AI is its potential to replace human jobs. Can you explain what is meant by the center combining human intelligence with AI?

JS: It's taking the best analytics out there, using predictive modeling and applying it with the human aspects of doing the work. It's taking system-driven logic and marrying it to the unique culture of the hospital. For example, the system might tell you your throughputs are low in the [operating rooms]. But, it won't realize there are patients in there with high morbidities. It's your people who will know that.

Q: What does TGH hope to achieve through its command center and how does it plan to do that?

JC: We want to reengineer how we deliver healthcare to make it more patient-centric. That is our first step. We then want to utilize the predictive modeling capability to create what I call a digital twin of our hospital. World class organizations continually look at better ways of doing things. Predictive modeling will help us determine if any proposed process changes will work. Finally, our care coordination center will use technology to monitor operations to improve efficiency and the patient experience.  

Q: How do you think AI will revolutionize healthcare?

JC: It [is becoming] an important tool. AI helps us do predictive modeling to help us understand the impact of making improvements before we make them. It’s an enormously powerful tool.

More articles on artificial intelligence:

USC researchers use AI to evaluate surgeons' performance
Why AMA refers to 'augmented intelligence,' not 'artificial intelligence,' in new policy
AMA passes 1st AI policy

 

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2019. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.

 

Top 40 Articles from the Past 6 Months