Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Larry Alton, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: Machine Learning , @CloudExpo, @BigDataExpo

Machine Learning : Blog Post

Using Predictive Analytics to Avoid Hospital Layoffs | @BigDataExpo #ML #BigData #Analytics

How predictive analytics is optimizing patient pathways within hospitals

Sanjeev Agrawal 150x150 Using Predictive Analytics to Avoid Hospital Layoffs

Using Predictive Analytics to Avoid Hospital Layoffs
By Sanjeev Agrawal, President and Chief Marketing Officer, LeanTaaS iQueue

It seems as if news about another hospital laying off workers - or worse, closing - hits the news every day; at last count, 21 hospitals stopped treating patients in 2016. Hospitals and healthcare systems across the country, including some of the largest, laid off thousands of employees. In November 2016 alone, 13 providers eliminated more than 1,000 jobs.

In September, HCCA's Vice President of Marketing Kathleen Johnson said, "The actions taken recently are in accordance with our planned and ongoing strategic realignment of the hospital's operations. We continue to streamline operations, improve efficiencies and healthcare delivery to our community."

In October, UC Irvine Health spokesman John Murray said, "The layoffs are part of a multipronged approach to improving the health of the system. Before considering the layoffs, we looked for opportunities to reduce expenses as well as maximize potential revenue."

What's Going On?
Steep operating losses and severe budget shortfalls, forced by a rapidly changing landscape toward value-based reimbursements, are causing hospitals to consolidate operations as much as they can: merging operations, closing labs, reducing workers and finding every possible way to lower costs without affecting quality of care - all while continuing to meet the spiraling demand on the clinical side.

As the industry shifts to value-based care, hospitals and healthcare systems face increasing pressure to reduce their cost structures - a difficult challenge  - without affecting quality of care. For many, consolidation is the next step in the progression. But after the merger is completed and redundancies eliminated, the big question is "How do we make the most out of all these resources?"

Simply put, hospitals are under constant pressure to do more with less - in many cases, much more with much less. Every day, they face an operational paradox; scarce resources are both overbooked and underutilized within the same day. This leads to several undesirable outcomes: millions of dollars of unnecessary operational costs, long patient wait times, overworked staff and an insatiable appetite for expanding existing facilities or constructing entirely new ones.

Data to the Rescue
Electronic health records (EHRs), fueled by government regulations and incentives, are opening opportunities for operational efficiencies. In the past decade, hospitals have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in EHRs, business intelligence and Lean/Six Sigma initiatives. Now, CIOs are asking "How can we leverage all this data to reduce costs?"

In a CIO survey conducted earlier this year, IT optimization ranked as one of the top 10 areas of focus. "Call it performance, call it tech-based enabled improvement, call it optimization. Call it whatever the buzzword is, but [we're] trying to get more capability out of the investment we've made in the past few years in EHRs," said Todd Hollowell, COO of Impact Advisors.

EHRs capture every bit of information related to a patient: historical conditions, medications, treatments, everything. The goal is to give that information to whoever needs it, whenever they need it. An obvious use case is to give everyone, from physicians to pharmacists, a valuable "situational awareness" that avoids obvious waste such as duplicate lab tests, unnecessary lab orders, etc. But that's just the beginning. If you look at the enormous amount of data stored per patient (more than two terabytes), it is possible to build sophisticated interconnected systems that can provide much better situational awareness to everyone involved in the core patient pathways. One of the core ways to reduce costs is to maximize resource utilization and route care providers to the right place at the right time to reduce the length of stay and improve overall efficiency. Predictive analytics provides a scalable way to accomplish this.

Predictive Analytics Is the Answer
Historically, process improvement efforts in hospitals worked with small, historical snapshots of data from which the core operational issues were identified. From this, strategies were developed, implementation plans executed and the disciplines for continuous improvement were established. This was the best approach when all that was available was rear-view mirror data snapshots and Excel as the analytic engine of choice. Now, with the explosion of smart devices, computational power in the cloud, and the growing pervasiveness of data science and machine learning algorithms, an entirely different realm of operational optimization is suddenly possible.

Consider the following scenarios on how predictive analytics is already optimizing patient pathways within hospitals:

- Optimizing access to treatments such as chemotherapy: By looking at historical demand patterns and operational constraints, sophisticated forecasting algorithms can predict the daily volume and mix of patients and orchestrate appointment slots such that there are no "gaps" between treatments. This radically improves chair utilization, reduces patient wait times and decreases the overall cost of operations. Doing this without sophisticated data science is hard; for example, just arranging the order in which 70 patients can be slotted for their treatments in a 35-chair infusion center is a number exceeding 10^100. Trying to solve this problem with pen, paper or Excel is a pointless exercise.

- Operating rooms are key resources within the hospital: Study after study shows that OR utilization at most large hospitals is at best 50-60 percent. In most hospitals, operating rooms are allocated to surgeons using "blocks" - for simplicity, the blocks are often either half-day or full-day. Even the most prolific and productive surgeons often don't fully utilize the blocks they are given, and the process for reallocating blocks on a monthly basis or even for last-minute block swaps is cumbersome and manual. Using data science and machine learning, hospitals can monitor utilization, identify pockets for improvement, automatically reallocate underutilized blocks and improve overall operating room utilization. A 3-5 percent improvement in block utilization is worth $2 million per year for a surgical suite with just four operating rooms.

- Optimizing in-patient bed capacity utilization: In-patient bed capacity is a constraining bottleneck in most hospitals, yet virtually every hospital solves this problem with an arithmetic-based "huddle" approach that reviews the patient census from the overnight stay in each unit, adds known incoming patients, subtracts known discharges and then decides if the unit is flirting with the limits of its available capacity. This cycle repeats itself, often several times per day, with a planning horizon of the day at hand. On the other hand, Google completes the search bar while we are typing because it has analyzed millions of search terms similar to the one you are entering and automatically presents the four or five highest probability queries that you intend to submit. Imagine looking at each overnight patient, finding the 1,000 prior patients over the last two years who entered the hospital with a similar diagnostic or procedure code and reviewing their "flight path" through the hospital (i.e., number of days spent in each of the units prior to discharge); then, an aggregate probabilistic assessment of the likely occupancy of each unit could be developed. Not only would it provide a better answer for today, it would also help anticipate the evolving unit capacity situation over the next 5-7 days, leading to smarter operational decisions on transfers, elective surgery rescheduling, etc.

A similar machine learning approach can help orchestrate patient flows at clinics, labs, pharmacies and any unit within the hospital network that struggles with the operational paradox of being overbooked and underutilized at the same time.

Hospitals are starting to see gains from predictive analytics, especially on the operational side. OR block scheduling is an area where the ROI can be significant. UCHealth, the largest healthcare network in Colorado, deployed a mobile block swap system that lets surgeons request and release blocks via their smartphone. The system uses predictive analytics to identify blocks that can be swapped. Within three months of deployment, the network saw a 16 percent increase in utilization of the swapped blocks compared to average blocks. A "Smart Performance Tracker" continuously monitors OR utilization and produces actionable insights to make data-driven decisions about from whom to take block time away and to whom to give it, and a Smart Staffing module creates optimized monthly/quarterly OR staffing plans.

NewYork-Presbyterian's NCI-designated cancer center deployed predictive analytics to shape patient demand. The system uses data science to mine historical appointment data, understand traffic patterns and "level load" patients throughout the day, leading to an astounding 55 percent lower wait times at peak hours, 40 percent lower wait times overall and 17 percent higher patient volumes. Several other hospitals, including Stanford Health Care, Wake Forest, UCSF and more have seen significant gains with predictive analytics for infusion scheduling.

It's clear the challenges of 2016 will continue throughout 2017 and beyond. The role data, predictive analytics and machine learning can play in transforming how providers do more with less is equally clear.

###

Sanjeev Agrawal is president and chief marketing officer of LeanTaaS iQueue. Sanjeev was Google's first head of product marketing. Since then, he has had leadership roles at three successful startups: CEO of Aloqa, a mobile push platform (acquired by Motorola); VP Product and Marketing at Tellme Networks (acquired by Microsoft); and as the founding CEO of Collegefeed (acquired by AfterCollege). Sanjeev graduated Phi Beta Kappa with an EECS degree from MIT and along the way spent time at McKinsey & Co. and Cisco Systems. He is an avid squash player and has been named by Beckers Hospital Review as one of the top entrepreneurs innovating in Healthcare.

More Stories By LeanTaaS Blog

LeanTaaS is a Silicon Valley software company whose offerings rely on advanced data science to significantly improve the operational performance of hospitals and clinics. Using LeanTaaS iQueue in conjunction with their existing EHR's, healthcare institutions are developing optimized schedules that are tailored to each site and can rapidly reduce patient wait times and operating costs while increasing patient access and satisfaction, care provider satisfaction, and asset utilization.

@CloudExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that SIGMA Corporation will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. uLaser flow inspection device from the Japanese top share to Global Standard! Then, make the best use of data to flip to next page. For more information, visit http://www.sigma-k.co.jp/en/.
Most of the time there is a lot of work involved to move to the cloud, and most of that isn't really related to AWS or Azure or Google Cloud. Before we talk about public cloud vendors and DevOps tools, there are usually several technical and non-technical challenges that are connected to it and that every company needs to solve to move to the cloud. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Stefano Bellasio, CEO and founder of Cloud Academy Inc., will discuss what the tools, disciplines, and cultural...
Why Federal cloud? What is in Federal Clouds and integrations? This session will identify the process and the FedRAMP initiative. But is it sufficient? What is the remedy for keeping abreast of cutting-edge technology? In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rasananda Behera will examine the proposed solutions: Private or public or hybrid cloud Responsible governing bodies How can we accomplish?
SYS-CON Events announced today that N3N will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. N3N’s solutions increase the effectiveness of operations and control centers, increase the value of IoT investments, and facilitate real-time operational decision making. N3N enables operations teams with a four dimensional digital “big board” that consolidates real-time live video feeds alongside IoT sensor data a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that NetApp has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. NetApp is the data authority for hybrid cloud. NetApp provides a full range of hybrid cloud data services that simplify management of applications and data across cloud and on-premises environments to accelerate digital transformation. Together with their partners, NetApp em...
SYS-CON Events announced today that B2Cloud will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. B2Cloud specializes in IoT devices for preventive and predictive maintenance in any kind of equipment retrieving data like Energy consumption, working time, temperature, humidity, pressure, etc.
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real r...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
Your clients expect transactions to never fail, cloud access to be fast and always on, and their data to be protected - no exceptions. Hear about how Secure Service Container (SSC), an IBM-exclusive open technology, enables secure building and hosting of next-generation applications, both cloud and on-premises. SSC protects the full stack from external and insider threats, allows automatic encryption of data in-flight and at-rest, and is tamper-resistant during installation and runtime – with no...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Suzuki Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Suzuki Inc. is a semiconductor-related business, including sales of consuming parts, parts repair, and maintenance for semiconductor manufacturing machines, etc. It is also a health care business providing experimental research for...
The “Digital Era” is forcing us to engage with new methods to build, operate and maintain applications. This transformation also implies an evolution to more and more intelligent applications to better engage with the customers, while creating significant market differentiators. In both cases, the cloud has become a key enabler to embrace this digital revolution. So, moving to the cloud is no longer the question; the new questions are HOW and WHEN. To make this equation even more complex, most ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusic will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Fusic Co. provides mocks as virtual IoT devices. You can customize mocks, and get any amount of data at any time in your test. For more information, visit https://fusic.co.jp/english/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ryobi Systems will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ryobi Systems Co., Ltd., as an information service company, specialized in business support for local governments and medical industry. We are challenging to achive the precision farming with AI. For more information, visit http:...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Keisoku Research Consultant Co. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Keisoku Research Consultant, Co. offers research and consulting in a wide range of civil engineering-related fields from information construction to preservation of cultural properties. For more information, vi...
The last two years has seen discussions about cloud computing evolve from the public / private / hybrid split to the reality that most enterprises will be creating a complex, multi-cloud strategy. Companies are wary of committing all of their resources to a single cloud, and instead are choosing to spread the risk – and the benefits – of cloud computing across multiple providers and internal infrastructures, as they follow their business needs. Will this approach be successful? How large is the ...
Kubernetes is an open source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Kubernetes was originally built by Google, leveraging years of experience with managing container workloads, and is now a Cloud Native Compute Foundation (CNCF) project. Kubernetes has been widely adopted by the community, supported on all major public and private cloud providers, and is gaining rapid adoption in enterprises. However, Kubernetes may seem intimidating and complex ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Daiya Industry will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Daiya Industry specializes in orthotic support systems and assistive devices with pneumatic artificial muscles in order to contribute to an extended healthy life expectancy. For more information, please visit https://www.daiyak...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interface Corporation will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Interface Corporation is a company developing, manufacturing and marketing high quality and wide variety of industrial computers and interface modules such as PCIs and PCI express. For more information, visit http://www.i...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Mobile Create USA will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Mobile Create USA Inc. is an MVNO-based business model that uses portable communication devices and cellular-based infrastructure in the development, sales, operation and mobile communications systems incorporating GPS capabi...