GE Healthcare helps Bradford Royal Infirmary manage resources

15 November 2019 3 min. read
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With the Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS trust continuing to encounter heavy demand for beds and treatment, it has announced the launch of a new Command Centre at the Bradford Royal Infirmary. The Command Centre will run on a system provided by specialist consultancy GE Healthcare, which will help the Trust collate and display hospital activity data in real-time.

Facing unprecedented demand from the challenges presented by an ageing population and a shortfall in government spending, the NHS is having to implement time-saving, cost-cutting technological solutions in order to secure the institution's future. This recently saw the NHS appoint nearly 80 consulting firms, IT consultancies, systems integrators, healthcare specialists and other professional services providers to its Health Systems Support (HSS) Framework.

Among those firms was GE Healthcare Partners, the health technology consulting wing of General Electric Company, an American multinational conglomerate incorporated in New York and headquartered in Boston. Part of its UK work saw GE Healthcare report earlier in the year that it was taking on a role collaborating with Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to build a Command Centre – like that of an air traffic control – at the Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI).

GE Healthcare helps Bradford Royal Infirmary manage resources

One of the first of its kind in Europe, the Command Centre is intended to transform how care is delivered and organised as the number of patients at the hospital continues to increase. Utilising artificial intelligence (AI), it will provide a clear, instant, and real-time overview across the 800-bed hospital and help staff make quick and informed decisions on how to best manage patient care.

The Command Centre relies on a system supplied by GE Healthcare which uses advanced algorithms to help staff anticipate and resolve bottlenecks in care delivery before they occur, recommending actions to enable faster, more responsive patient care. The data will be displayed on multiple high definition screens in the Command Centre – as well as on tablets and mobile devices – providing 24-7 support to busy medical teams across the hospital. This will also allow for a better allocation of the hospital’s resources.

One example of how the Command Centre can improve operations at the BRI is bed capacity. Over 96% of bed capacity at BRI is used regularly and it has 125,000 A&E (Emergency Department) attendances each year, up by more than 40% over the past decade, and the Command Centre program will ideally help meet the vision of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to decrease length of stay, alleviate the need for additional wards and beds, and reduce cancellations for non-emergency surgery.

The Command Centre at Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI) is expected to be fully operational by spring 2020. Ahead of that, however, it was officially opened on November 12th by Sarah Wilkinson, Chief Executive of NHS Digital.

At the launch, Wilkinson remarked, “Demand for services is growing at Bradford Teaching Hospitals every year, with up to 400 patients coming through our A&E every day… The Command Centre is a major investment in how we, as a very busy acute Trust, can improve our performance, maintain and improve patients’ experience of coming into hospital and support our staff to do their jobs more efficiently, so they can concentrate on delivering excellent patient care.”

Jeff Terry, Chief Executive Officer, Clinical Command Centres at GE Healthcare, added, “Bradford Command Centre is already benefiting caregivers and patients. Bradford had the courage to prove the potential of this toolkit in the NHS’s context and in the process create a blueprint for hospitals across Europe to consider and build upon. We’re honored to serve the Bradford team.”