Transforming Perioperative Performance: Leveraging AI, Automation and Change Management for Guaranteed Outcomes and Sustainable Results

Growing inflation coupled with staffing shortages will continue pressuring healthcare organizations to do more with less, per a recent McKinsey report.

Healthcare leaders must take proactive steps now to mitigate further financial challenges and can do so by harnessing the power of technology to drive revenue, cut costs and achieve and sustain peak operational performance. Waiting any longer to implement these essential solutions is simply not an option.

Deploying technology is especially critical in the economic engine of the hospital, the operating room. A single OR minute can be worth over $100 in revenue, and an entire block of time can yield $50,000. Optimizing the capacity of rooms, time and equipment is essential to raising revenue as well as maintaining lower costs, viable case volume and timely access for patients.

Accomplishing all this accurately and sustainably requires the right technology. Only AI, machine learning and predictive analytics are powerful enough to deliver the right data to the right people at the right time, support intelligent automated workflows and drive iterative, continually-improving results in OR efficiency. This technology is crucial for scaling and automating high performance in the OR, but it’s not enough to throw technology over the wall and assume it’ll work.

Technology must be combined with people and process to achieve transformation
True transformation must involve not only technology but people and processes – and critically, change management. Too often technology transformations fail because they lack these components, or don’t deploy them in a way that makes sense for the organization.

Expert perioperative partners who understand the technology as well as the user’s experiences and needs can unlock the technology’s potential to transform the organization. Recognizing this, healthcare software and analytics company LeanTaaS has launched Perioperative Transformation as a Service (TaaS), an offering that provides each customer of its AI-powered iQueue for Operating Rooms solution with a dedicated services team to support implementing the technology, driving change management, establishing systemwide governance and ensuring ongoing success.

Supporting change management and optimized implementation in the OR
Many legacy healthcare technology companies do not offer long-term, perioperative support services to supplement their products. But time and time again, these dedicated teams have proven essential to unlocking the full potential of even the most powerful AI solutions. When a healthcare organization adopts new technology, vendor partners who deeply understand that technology as well as the specific challenges the organization faces become key resources in implementation through execution and beyond.

Implementing and adopting a new technology solution throughout an organization entails substantial change management, which involves deep-seated challenges. A 2014 article from the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Safety outlines the deep-seated challenges of “Change management in health care” and notes the need to address “human, organizational, and technical aspects” proactively and intentionally throughout the change management process. “Change is challenging” to already-strained stakeholders, and “often met with resistance,” but remains critical to advancing care access and efficiency.

Besides generally engaging stakeholders throughout the implementation, socializing a new solution across the many departments and services in the OR is a significant cross-functional communication challenge in itself. These departments have diverse priorities and processes that are not easy to align. Front-end users also have the most impactful insights on how to optimize the workflows and data reports for their day-to-day use and organizational processes, but may lack the time and bandwidth to engage with a new solution at the level needed to execute these insights.

To support the implementation process and help adapt the solution fully to their unique goals and processes, organizations need dedicated partners who are experts in both the technology and organizational needs. Our TaaS service teams help oversee the change management involved and flexibly align the technology optimally with the people and their processes to achieve sustainable and worthwhile impact.

TaaS in practice: delivering improved OR efficiency on the front lines
Bringing prior technology, data science, healthcare and business consulting backgrounds, TaaS service team members also collectively represent centuries’ worth of perioperative transformation experience, adaptable to the many needs of different hospitals, ORs or service lines. They act as advisors to OR leadership, meeting with them regularly to maintain smooth change management during the implementation and determine which metrics, such as block, staff or prime time utilization, case length accuracy, lead times, etc., are the most telling in tracking that particular perioperative organization’s performance. They can also work with front-line users to explore the power of the technology, showing how it can support the organizational processes already in place, such as block allocation practices, and also identify potential process improvement opportunities, like promoting more proactive releases of unused time.

With the help of these dedicated perioperative experts and data analysts, OR staff and other users in the hospital can unlock optimal results from the technology with minimal disruption to themselves or the organization as a whole. Perioperative leaders, for example, can use their designated metrics sourced from iQueue analytics to identify utilization and performance improvement opportunities; surgeons and other providers can leverage increased capacity to take on more cases and treat patients more quickly; and staff can deploy iQueue’s many levers to scheduling optimization immediately as helpful tools rather than added tasks. Existing LeanTaaS customers have seen the benefits of this support.

The impact of TaaS on health system partners and their perioperative spaces
Major health systems such as UCHealth, CommonSpirit and Baptist Health have already deployed our successful combination of AI, automation and change management with powerful results.

"When we engage with a third-party, we look for a true partner,” said Brian Dawson, System Vice President of Perioperative Services at CommonSpirit. “[What] I love about LeanTaaS is not just its AI tool, but also the unbelievable support we receive. We hold each other accountable and have a trust-based relationship. I meet with the LeanTaaS team every week and we have quarterly leadership meetings. Having that customer service to help us identify things that we might miss is well worth the investment. CommonSpirit has seen tens of millions of dollars of improvement in annual contribution margin from increased surgical volumes as a result of the partnership with LeanTaaS."

With the support of technology and collaboration of expert partners, all hospitals and health systems can achieve similar outcomes in the perioperative space and throughout the organization. In navigating financially challenging times while maintaining this efficiency, this transformation is critical in the long run.

Learn more about TaaS, and how it builds on the iQueue for Operating Rooms solution to great perioperative success, here.

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