UCHealth Partners with LeanTaaS to Improve Operating Room Utilization

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Big-Data-HealthcareUCHealth, a nationally-recognized healthcare system based in Colorado, announced that it has partnered with LeanTaaS, the leading lean and predictive analytics company based in Silicon Valley, to improve utilization of its operating rooms. LeanTaaS iQueue for Operating Rooms is the first in the market to combine proven lean principles and advanced data science to optimize hospital operations. UCHealth is the first customer to deploy iQueue for Operating Rooms, implementing it at University of Colorado Hospital now and its other hospitals integrating the innovative technology later this year and next.

Operating rooms (OR) are key resources in a hospital, but most hospitals struggle to manage precious OR blocks efficiently due to the complexities involved. As a result, surgeons don’t always get the OR time they need, administrators don’t have objective data to make decisions, and patients don’t get critical care on time. iQueue for Operating Rooms looks at dozens of OR operations parameters and builds predictive models to forecast usage patterns and allocate OR time efficiently to meet hospital objectives.

UCHealth is focused on providing the very best, most efficient care for our patients. iQueue for Operating Rooms provides deep visibility into OR utilization,” explained Steve Hess, CIO of UCHealth. “It tells us why we’re not fully utilizing our operating rooms, where the bottlenecks are, and how we can make it better. Every minute of OR time is valuable; even a small gain can have a big impact on our bottom line.”

Key Features of iQueue for Operating Rooms

The manual OR block allocation process, which uses thumb rules and anecdotal evidence to assign OR time to surgeons, results in inefficient operations: a high volume of critical OR blocks go unused and operational bottlenecks go unnoticed, causing severe inefficiencies.

We started LeanTaaS with a mission of combining lean and data science to achieve operational excellence in healthcare,” added Mohan Giridharadas, founder and CEO of LeanTaaS. “iQueue for Operating Rooms is a major milestone toward that mission. We’re honored to work with UCHealth as our launch customer and one of the nation’s leading health systems with visionary leadership that truly cares about improving patient access.”

iQueue for Operating Rooms taps into non-sensitive electronic health record (EHR) data, learns about good and bad usage patterns, and reallocates OR time to surgeons that could best utilize it based on hospital objectives.

Surgeons performing a VAD (Ventricular assist device) surgery on a patient with a failing heart.

Surgeons performing a VAD (Ventricular assist device) surgery on a patient with a failing heart.

  • Deep visibility into OR utilization: iQueue continuously monitors and shows how operating rooms are being utilized, the root cause of delays including first case late starts and turnover times, and identifies opportunities to improve utilization. Daily, weekly and monthly reports identify macro patterns and pinpoint concrete problems causing operational bottlenecks.
  • Patented models to reallocate OR blocks: iQueue uses patented mathematical models to detect bottlenecks and reallocate OR blocks to ensure the right surgeon gets the right resources to meet hospital objectives. It continuously monitors more than a dozen parameters across the board and uses machine learning to detect patterns of under (or over) utilization and reallocate OR time for the right surgeons.
  • Automated block reallocation with lightweight mobile interactions: iQueue makes block management a breeze with simple 1-click mobile interactions. Surgeons can release assigned blocks, request more blocks and swap blocks when needed with fellow surgeons. Administrators can easily approve block requests and track activity in real time. Executives can get macro trends right on their mobile device.

Key Benefits of iQueue for Operating Rooms

  • For surgeons and their assistants: iQueue lets surgeons offer better critical care to their patients by making it easier for them to access OR time on demand. It enables them to keep an eye on their actual utilization and provides early warnings when their utilization approaches lower bounds set by the hospital. Directly from their mobile phones or desktops with 1-click interactions, surgeons and their assistants can also easily release unwanted blocks to surgeons who might benefit from them, request OR time and accept blocks.
  • For OR administrators: iQueue provides deep visibility into OR utilization, identifies bottlenecks and helps administrators make data-driven changes to keep the utilization optimal. By automatically reallocating OR blocks, iQueue relieves administrators from hours of manual effort trying to find backfills and managing unused blocks.
  • For executives: iQueue identifies macro trends and patterns causing under (or over) utilization in their operating rooms. Executives can easily track how the rooms are being utilized and how demand supply patterns can impact their service lines.

Earlier this year, UCHealth also implemented iQueue for Infusion Centers, a predictive analytics solution that maximizes infusion chair utilization, resulting in lower patient waiting times, higher patient volumes and increased nurse satisfaction.


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  1. What other hospitals are already using this iQueue for Operating Rooms?