I started my nursing career in 1986 and have had the opportunity to deliver patient care in various roles over the years—from Director of Specialized Clinical Services responsible for the implementation of transfer center software and best practices, Command Center creation, patient flow activities, bariatric services, and nursing leadership programs, to Chief Flight Nurse and Trauma Program Manager.  In my role here at TeleTracking as the Vice President, Clinical Strategy, I now have the opportunity to use my clinical expertise to help our clients achieve positive outcomes. 

While I’ve held different positions throughout my career, what has remained consistent is my focus on making sure patients get the right care, in the right place, at the right time.  And that’s where having a robust transfer command center comes into play.  By centralizing operations across an enterprise, admission requests from other hospitals and local physicians can be coordinated—often times through a single phone call or web request.

100 Command Centers

I assembled my first Command Center at North Mississippi Medical Center in 2006 after expanding what began with an initial transfer center software and grew into an interdisciplinary team, and now eight years later, I’ve been involved (in some capacity – implementation, training, consulting, marketing) in the launch of more than 100 Command Centers while at TeleTracking.  What began as a single transfer center software implementation at most health systems, expanded with integrated patient intake and placement processes, EVS and others becoming a Health System Enterprise Command Center – resembling NASA's Mission Control Center.

[You might also be interested in reading about how NMMC Command Center Coordinates behind the Scenes]

When TeleTracking started this journey a quarter century ago, the concept of patient flow didn’t exist.  We started with a single product and vision to transform healthcare.  25 years later, that vision endures as we remain dedicated to optimizing health system operations and delivering measurable, sustainable outcomes to the clients that we serve.  We’ve also built a team of seasoned clinical and technology experts that consult, implement, train and share personal experiences and best practices with our clients.  With these experiences, we’ve learned some key lessons over the years.  Let’s start with these basic principles:

  • People = Right People; Right Seats

  • Process = Driven by Data

  • Technology = Support People & Processes

  • Leadership = Hard-wire Culture

Now let’s delve into the specifics:

  • Speed and efficiency are key when redesigning operations. A gap analysis is one piece, but it doesn’t stop there—TeleTracking has a six-point methodology.
  • Great technology helps drive success. It supports enterprise workflows, drives accountability, automates communication, captures robust data for continuous improvement and helps with strategic decision-making.
  • If you’re regularly at or over patient capacity, fix the back of the house first—implement the processes and supporting technologies to move patients out as soon as they’re medically ready; rapidly yet safely prepare the room for the next patient; provide visibility to beds enterprise-wide; and enable patient placement and transfer center staff to work together to place incoming patients in the right bed by way of a centralized Command Center.
  • Use real-time data and analytics to drive change—set goals, build a scorecard, track metrics, and drill down to find bottlenecks. Look at trends over time to make long-term business decisions, from service line expansion to outreach targets.

At the end of the day, it’s all about timely access to quality care, and TeleTracking has delivered on that promise of delivering repeatable, measurable and sustainable outcomes for many years.  Here are just a few examples of what our clients have been able to achieve:

  • Incoming patient transfer volume up 230% = $73 million income boost in 6 quarters
  • 30% increase in external transfers
  • 40% increase in transfer admissions to secondary campus relieving capacity challenges at main campus
  • Patient transfer volume more than tripling since implementation go-live
  • $51 million annual net margin impact
  • Additional 70 patients admitted using transfer center software solution per month 
  • External transfers have grown 16% and continue to grow each year
  • 34% increase in patient transfers over the course of the year
  • All but eliminated diversion hours with a 99% decrease
  • Reduced ED wait times by 33,000 hours
  • Served an additional 14,000 children in the first year while eliminating ED diversion and reducing boarding hours by 50%

And the list goes on…

Thank you for believing in our mission, sharing a commitment to healing and helping patients, and collaborating with us to change healthcare.  The timely coordination of care will continue to be our true north as we look to the next 25 years.

More about this blog post

About the Expert

Joy AveryJoy Avery, RN, MSN

Joy Avery began her nursing career in 1986 and has had the opportunity to deliver patient care in a wide range of roles over the years—from Director of Specialized Clinical Services responsible for transfer command centers, patient flow activities, bariatric services, and nursing leadership programs, to Chief Flight Nurse and Trauma Program Manager.

As the Vice President of Clinical Strategy at TeleTracking, Joy uses her clinical expertise to facilitate rapid patient access solutions at health systems across the country. Having been involved in the implementation of 100 command centers, Joy can speak extensively about the power of a robust transfer/referral center and how when operations are centralized across an enterprise system, admission requests from other hospitals and local physicians can be coordinated.

More information about this resource

, Patient Flow Experts
Media Type
Clinician, Operations

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