New control hub is improving patient journey through hospital

A new state-of-the-art control centre at a health trust in Teesside is helping the improved flow of patients through hospital.

Staff stood in the integrated co-ordination centreNorth Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust has launched its Integrated Co-ordination Centre – to track patients through every step of their hospital journey.

The new room, custom built in the middle of the University Hospital of North Tees, is the base for a team of highly skilled staff from a wide variety of different roles.

It is where decisions are made to help the flow of patients from the moment they enter hospital to when they leave.

The room, opened last month, uses a new system known as OPTICA – optimised patient tracking and intelligent choices application.

This includes real-time data of activity such as the demand for beds, the amount of patients in hospital and the number of beds available – all displayed on virtual dashboards and accessible to all members of the co-ordination centre team.

Vicky Cardona, continuous improvement manager, said: “This new room allows us to see a live picture of all activity within our two hospital sites.

“This information is available virtually for all our experienced staff in the control centre – a site manager is responsible for any operational decisions.

“This new system means the team can make accurate decisions about each patient based on the most up to date and accurate information.”

Team meetings – known as huddles – which take place every morning in each ward areas are also attended by a member of the control centre team.

Vicky added: “There is a comprehensive meeting structure in place to communicate key information, make effective decisions, build relationships, and escalate as appropriate.

“Thanks to the accurate information the OPTICA system gives, the team can confidently make quick decisions, problem solve and escalate any issues.

“The co-ordination centre means all intelligence is in one place – underpinned by trust, open communications and respect between team members.

“This includes regular communications with colleagues outside the organisation includes in social care and primary care.”

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