Interview of the month: Glen Landry

4 minutes of reading

Glen Landry, vice-president of Information, Communication and Automation Technologies (ICAT) at Plan Group, gives us users feedbacks and perspectives on the Humber digital Hospital in Toronto after 4 years of exploitation

l'interview shared innovation

Could you remind us of the main lines of the Humber Digital Hospital project which was achieved in 2015?

The project was to transform a regional hospital welcoming a million patients a year into the first digital hospital in North America. The approach was user-centered with the global aim to enable people to live and work in the hospital in a better way. Design workshops were conducted with the employees beforehand to take their perception into consideration and to understand their needs: a key success factor to address the issues and to make sure the project was adopted. The patient community was also actively engaged in defining the functional specification.
For the first time, three systems in one, building, clinical and business, were connected together to enable their interoperability through an integrated platform. The automated workflows allow transition from machine to machine and communication between the people and the building.

Could you illustrate by some use cases the potentials offered by this digitalization?

The entire building can now communicate to clinical staff and to patients in their room, which has completely transformed the user pathways.
The patient pathway starts with the registration before its stay at the hospital. The patient is notified at home of what to do and when to show up. Once arrived at the hospital, doctors and nurses are informed, the patient is physically geolocalized and is guided through the building. The demands are treated more quickly. For example, bringing a glass of water to a patient takes only one trip since nurses get notified of the demand upstream. It required three trips formerly: one to reach the patient bed and get his demand, one to go seeking the glass of water and another to bring it back to the patient.
With the integrated bedside terminal, the patient has the ability to control the environment around (light, cooling and heating) for a customized experience. He can also communicate directly in real time with the clinicians at the hospital and the love ones at home through a video call.
Other innovations relate to real time locating services which involve safety and well-being for staff and patients, as well as automated guided vehicles. Those robots are streamlining processes to deliver services within the facility focusing on pharmacy, food services and house cleaning. They communicate with the elevators and the other building systems to move around the facility wirelessly, and can communicate with clinical staff to inform them that services have been delivered on time.

What are the users feedbacks after 4 years of exploitation (both patients and the medical community)?

Surveys show both a higher patient satisfaction and a better clinical experience.
Patients’ satisfaction increased from 60% to 72%. Waiting times have particularly been reduced: the time a patient in the Emergency Department waits for an inpatient bed has dropped by 33%.
The project also had impacts on human resources, making the hospital more attractive to retain the staff and attract new qualitative staff. It is a key aspect in a context of increasing workers flows from Canada to the US. Efficiency increased by 42%. For example, the wait time for having an inpatient bed cleaned has been reduced by 45%. Productivity increased by 84% with more patients treated thanks to the efficiency of the technology. These improvements in patient flow allowed the opening of 23 new beds.
This is recognized as a best practice by the professional community with more than a hundred visitors per month to see what has been done in the hospital.

What are the next steps with Humber River Hospital or other projects?

We are currently working with Humber River Hospital on a new North American first innovation for seamless and automated connected care which aligns with the dynamic care team’s lean processes. To date, clinical information and communication systems are delivered in a silo approach. This remain a significant problem for patient care and safety. This Proof of Concept will enable seamless workflows that deliver the right information, to the right people, at the right time, at the right place and in the right mode. It is being done within the live ICU (Intensive Care Unit), with 40 Doctors, 200 Nurses and 4 RT’s.
We also entered a logic of replication of the solution with the implementation of the same technologies and workflows at Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital (25% smaller than Humber River Hospital) in Ontario by 2020.