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How Can Health System Command Centers Reduce Cost Growth?

This article was originally published on HIT Consultant | Read full article


In our decentralized care landscape, health system command centers (HSCC) are coordinating high-quality care through complex and integrated delivery networks (IDN). Recently, command centers were recognized by KLAS and Gartner as a new model of care delivery with the potential to impact clinical, financial, and operational outcomes. That means in addition to improving routine health system operations—and increasing access and throughput at individual health systems—the collective national and international impact of HSCCs on care delivery has potential implications for health policy and finance.

High-consequence, complex organizations with decentralized operations such as aviation, emergency management, the military, and national power grid operations have used centralized command center models for decades to foster communication and coordination of time-sensitive activities in order to achieve target outcomes.

Healthcare organizations adopted a similar model in the 1980s for use during emergencies called the Hospital Emergency Incident Command System (HEICS), which has since become the Hospital Incident Command System (HICS). Combining the lessons from both healthcare and these other industries, the concept of a health system command center to support daily operations has emerged in concept and practice at several organizations globally.

Command Center Value

Health system command centers vary in cost, size, complexity, and scope based on the profile of the system they serve – read more about Broward Health; Carilion Clinic; Kettering Health Network.  Healthcare is predominantly a team sport―yet through rich traditions and professional practice, silos are also prevalent.  An HSCC mitigates these traditional barriers through co-location of essential expert personnel, the automation of data collection, defined communication pathways, and structured workflows for a distributed workforce.  


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