Healthcare leaders have watched enviously as data analytics tools help other industries work faster, more effectively and with fewer safety concerns – until now.
Hartford HealthCare and Dr. Dimitris Bertismas, a predictive analytics at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, recently formalized a company called H2O which will market a cloud-based software to healthcare organizations worldwide that promises to:
- Optimize operating room performance by sequencing patient flow effectively, increasing capacity without costly capital construction projects.
- Accurately target optimal patient length of stay to better prepare for discharge.
- Improve and speed patient movement through the emergency department, improving their experience.
“This has the potential to change healthcare for the world, and it’s beginning in Connecticut,” said Hartford HealthCare President and CEO Jeffrey Flaks, moments after signing the agreement with Dr. Bertsimas.
The partnership dates back five years when Dr. Bertsimas introduced his predictive analytics tool to the system, showing leaders and clinicians its possible applications. Flaks called these the “areas of enormous impact.”
“Each of these areas will help us take care of more people, even in the face of critical shortage of personnel,” he said. “We will be able to better organize our resources to be more effective while ensuring the quality of care and patient safety.”
Dr. Bertsimas – who will serve as the chair of the board of the Waltham, Mass.-based company – said the H2O software will be a resource when patients come into any of Hartford HealthCare’s seven emergency rooms, examining each patient’s health record, lab and diagnostic imaging reports and other data to predict things like likely complications, need for a bed in the intensive care unit and length of hospital stay.
“It will predict the patient’s outcomes,” he said.
Such predictive analytics is a “game changer,” added Flaks, who said the healthcare industry has never been able to harness the power of the algorithms and tools used to determine results.
“It will help us be proactive versus reactive. Healthcare has, historically, been reactive. The benefits to this are very clear,” he said.
Barry Stein, MD, chief innovation officer with Hartford HealthCare, said clinicians have not been quick to trust technology in the past, but the close work Dr. Bertsimas and his team have done with Hartford HealthCare providers in the past few years has demonstrated the technology’s powerful potential.
“We’ve been learning together so there’s more trust,” he said. “We’ve simplified a complex solution so the end user can harness the power of it. They’ve seen that if we can predict what’s going to happen, we can intervene and mitigate things before they happen.”
The goal for H2O is to move the technology onto the market by the end of 2022, and have 10 or more hospital systems globally signed on to use it within the first year.