A health system Command Center can drive significant, positive outcomes. The newest trend emerging is Command Centers created with a hybrid model, featuring both in-person and remote team members. With many health care systems already achieving HIPAA compliance programs for remote employees before the COVID-19 pandemic, others have now followed suit. 

Based on TeleTracking’s extensive work with health systems of varying sizes and circumstances, we have addressed many questions and considerations along the way regarding this hybrid Command Center solution. We’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions we hear regarding transitioning a command center to a remote-hybrid model. 

What are the pros and cons of hybrid Command Centers? 

Health system pros: fewer callouts for sickness, reduced footprint/real estate costs, higher employee satisfaction, diversified workforce by location. Health system cons: higher initial equipment costs for each employee, more challenges in managing a remote workforce, more opportunities for security breaches.

With Command Center SaaS-based technology, remote team members still have access to the information they need, just without the luxury of seeing it on massive boards. The advantages of a hybrid model are compelling, and many health systems have proven that the challenges can be overcome and team members can work successfully. 

What parts of a Command Center can go remote? 

With the appropriate hardware and software, any team member can potentially achieve success working remotely. To start, it helps to consider the various responsibilities a Command Center may face. 

Most Command Centers have at least two major components that can shift to remote work: 

  • Transfer center that handles patients transferring into or out of the hospital system 
  • Patient placement that handles bed assignment for patients moving within the hospital system 

What portion of time do team members work remotely? 

The percentage of time that hybrid Command Center team members work remotely is up to individual hospital systems, with various approaches possible. Some health systems allow staff to work remotely 100% of the time, while others implement split shifts. 

How can we align remote and on-site processes? 

Shifting to a hybrid model should prompt a close look at the Command Center’s processes and policies. Command Center staff need absolute clarity surrounding who they report to in different situations and how they escalate potential issues to management. To get there, teams need to standardize processes and ensure that every team member knows them inside and out. Everyone should understand their role, what information they can collect, where in the process to hand off to another team member (or management), and exactly how to do so. 

How do Command Centers maintain team cohesion with the hybrid model? 

Maintaining the social bonds between team members is key for all Command Centers to function at the highest level. At any given time, some staff will be on site and some will be working remotely with the hybrid model, so opportunities for connection need to be deliberate. To maintain team cohesion: 

  1. Schedule virtual huddles on a regular basis. Discuss current Command Center business or provide ongoing training on new technologies. 
  1. Create social opportunities such as weekly “coffee breaks” or ice breakers that everyone can participate in simultaneously. Maintain competition and team spirit with regular activities such as polls, contests, and awards. 

Ready To Explore More? 

Every health system is different — in terms of geographic location, patient mix, and technology capabilities — and so the road to hybrid will also be different.   

TeleTracking can assist health systems with all phases of hybrid Command Center planning and implementation. Access The Hybrid Command Center Model white paper to get started. 


More information about this resource

Hospital Command Center, Disaster Readiness, Patient Flow Experts
Media Type
Executive, Operations, IT/IS

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