Healthcare innovation accelerated by the pandemic
When healthcare communities all over the world needed efficient strategies for catching up with the massive backlog of cancelled surgeries during the pandemic, Getinge’s Matthias Rath and his team gave their all to develop a planning tool that helps hospitals prioritize their surgical capacity in the best possible way. Meet the inventor of Torin OptimalQ.
“Actually, we were already up and running with the project at the time. Many healthcare systems had long surgical waiting lists already before the COVID-19 outbreak, so a knowledge-based planning tool was underway. The pandemic spurred us to find an efficient solution quicker,” says Matthias Rath, Director Product Management & Business Development OR Solutions at Getinge.
Torin OptimalQ, which is yet another powerful example of how digitalization plays an increasingly important role in health care, was launched in the summer of 2020 as a direct result of the acute situation. “In addition to providing mechanical ventilators and other medical devices that help treat severely ill COVID-19 patients, we at Getinge were pleased that we could make a difference also when it comes to help hospitals manage the restart of their surgical activities efficiently,” Matthias says.
Torin OptimalQ is a service that is scalable, easy to deploy, and quickly delivers a prioritized surgery schedule for staff and patients. It can also be used by customers who do not currently have the Torin OR Management solution installed.
“By merging statistics in different areas, such as surgical times and best planning practices, with the customer’s own waiting list data, we can calculate the best way to prioritize the surgeries and propose a surgery plan for the upcoming weeks,” Matthias explains.
He continues: “The proposal gives the surgical department a head start. Blended with their own experience and skills, it ultimately contributes to better results and an improved working environment.”
To make the planning software easily available for hospitals, Getinge has created a three-step offer, which includes the possibility to use and evaluate the solution for a few weeks. “If they are pleased with the trial, it is easy to move the Torin OR Management solution that has the Waiting List Management functionality fully integrated,” Matthias says.
Typically, the surgical activities represent about 70 per cent of the total costs for a hospital. Using this capacity efficiently is key to better
clinical and financial outcomes.
“Even when taking the effects of the pandemic out of the equation, Torin OptimalQ is a powerful tool for helping any hospital manage surgical waiting lists in an optimal way. We have seen cases where the investment in our software is paid back in less than a year thanks to better utilization of the surgical capacity,” he explains.
Since the original launch, Getinge has taken another step by introducing prediction of surgery times in our Torin Optimization package. Based on machine learning, hospitals can improve the accuracy of the OR schedule and OR utilization – and Matthias Rath is convinced that the journey will continue.
“The possibilities to moving further towards a fully automated solution for generating a surgical schedule, reflecting all relevant parameters, is a strong motivator both for my team and our colleagues working with cognitive computing,” he concludes.
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