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Hartford HealthCare invests $1M in logistics center to reduce wait times, fill beds

Hartford (Conn.) invested $1 million in a logistics center to better control patient flow by coordinating where patients are admitted, according to the Hartford Business Journal.

The center includes 10 nurses and other staff from Hartford HealthCare who answer phones to coordinate patient transfers to nearly 1,800 inpatient beds across Connecticut.

To save space at Hartford Hospital for the most serious illnesses and injuries, the center aims to fill more beds and produce more revenue at Hartford HealthCare's community hospitals with vacant rooms. "Hartford Hospital was overflowing, particularly in the [intensive care units]," said Rocco Orlando, MD, CMO and senior vice president of Hartford HealthCare.

Hartford Hospital and its three sister facilities in Connecticut — MidState Medical Center in Meriden, Hospital of Central Connecticut in New Britain, Windham Hospital in Willimantic, and Backus Hospital  in Norwich — now operate on the same electronic medical record system.

As a result, the health system is able to refine strategies on where to send patients, said Elizabeth Ciotti, RN, vice president of Hartford HealthCare's patient logistics and head of the logistics center.

If the system wants to transfer a patient to a community hospital instead, it is ultimately up to the patient. Community hospitals are able to handle a number of serious illnesses and may be located much closer to a patient's home, Ms. Ciotti added.

Using the control center, physicians can ask a patient if they would prefer to be admitted to a particular hospital.

The key test is ensuring the logistics hub makes triage decisions carefully so patients do not wind up being transferred to Hartford Hospital anyway, but this has not happened yet, Dr. Orlando added. 

More articles on patient flow: 
Care New England will transition Memorial Hospital to outpatient center, avoid closure
United Medical Center to permanently close obstetrics ward
Uber charges man over $18k for 21-minute ride to Toronto hospital

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