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Tampa General Opens Command Center To Improve Patient Experience, Outcomes

Aug 21, 2019
Originally published on August 21, 2019 8:20 pm

A new command center at Tampa General Hospital is saving the hospital money and reducing the time patients spend at the facility.

The hospital is the first in Florida and only the fourth in the world to use the approach, called CareComm, which was developed by GE Healthcare.

It's an 8,000-square-foot center that has been called the hospital’s mission control. It uses computers and artificial intelligence apps to display patient information, room availability and other information on a wall of video screens.

“CareComm helps us ensure that each patient gets the best possible care right when they need it,” Dr. Pete Chang, vice president of Care Transitions at TGH, said in a release. “Because our CareComm team is focusing on smoothing each patient’s journey through the hospital, our clinical team at the bedside has more time to spend with the patient.”

Through the use of technology, hospital staff can better predict the needs of patients and providers. They can anticipate things that could slow the system down, like the availability of rooms, equipment and medical providers.

The idea is to improve patient care and help the hospital run more efficiently, Chang said.

“We all know the earlier you treat someone, the better the outcome is, generally speaking,” he said.

The hospital opened a temporary CareComm facility in December and it has already saved about $10 million by reducing inefficiencies, according to a release. It has also helped TGH reduce the average patient’s stay by about half a day, officials said.

CareComm moved to its new location on the second floor of the hospital’s East Pavilion and officially opened on Tuesday.

Gov. Ron DeSantis attended the event at TGH.

“If you had told me we were in Kennedy Space Center in there, I probably would have believed you,” DeSantis said.