by Matt Pilon – HartfordBusiness.com
Tucked away in a Newington administrative building, 10 nurses and other staff from Hartford HealthCare are working the phones, coordinating patient transfers to approximately 1,800 inpatient beds across Connecticut.
Nearby flatscreens display myriad key metrics across Hartford HealthCare’s statewide network of five (and counting) hospitals: the number of occupied and open beds; the number of patients in the emergency room; the number of patients awaiting a transfer; and a live feed of Life Star helipads.
The $1 million Hartford HealthCare Logistics Center — known internally as the nerve center or mission-control hub, evoking NASA-esque imagery — is the latest effort by the health system to better control the flow of patients to its various hospitals.
Hospital officials hope the control center will help them fill more beds and produce more revenue at Hartford HealthCare’s growing roster of community hospitals that often have room to spare, while freeing up space at the bustling Hartford Hospital for the most serious illnesses and injuries.
“Hartford Hospital was overflowing, particularly in the [intensive care units],” said Dr. Rocco Orlando, the health system’s chief medical officer.
A busy hospital can mean longer wait times for patients who need a bed, said Elizabeth Ciotti, a registered nurse who is vice president of patient logistics. She runs the logistics center.
Better coordination will reduce those wait times, resulting in greater patient satisfaction, and will also help produce higher-quality care, Hartford HealthCare officials say.