New operations hub will revolutionize care across Swedish

September 13, 2022 Swedish Health Team

[6 MIN READ]

In this article:

  • The Providence Swedish Staffing, Transfer and Operations Center (STOC) monitors and analyzes patient data in real-time across the entire Providence Swedish network in western Washington.

  • The STOC functions like a "mission control" and helps ensure our patients receive the right care at the right time in the right place.

  • The STOC allows Swedish to function with the resources of a 1,200-bed hospital instead of five separate hospitals and two free-standing emergency departments.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, you may not have expected a telehealth option from your primary care doctor. Even online scheduling was rare.

But the pandemic launched the health care industry into an era of technological innovation. Changes that may not have come for another few years were suddenly available and expanding your access to care.

Now, as vaccines roll out and life adjusts closer to a new normal, health care leaders across the nation are ensuring that technological progress doesn’t slow down. And at Swedish, we’re ready to take bigger, bolder steps toward simplifying your journey to better health. One of those steps is the evolution of our Swedish Staffing, Transfer and Operations Center (STOC).

What is the Swedish STOC?

The STOC is a medical mission control. It functions as the central nervous system of hospital operations, monitoring and analyzing patient information and hospital clinical resources in real-time across the entire Swedish network. With these robust data resources in place, you’ll experience better, more efficient care — care that helps you feel your best and gets you back home as soon as possible.

STOC will ensure that every patient receives the right care at the right time in the right place.

“STOC will ensure that every patient receives the right care at the right time in the right place,” says Shelley Livingston, regional director of clinical resource management. “With this technology, we can now operate as one 1,200-bed hospital system rather than five separate hospitals and two freestanding emergency departments.”                                      

The STOC utilizes GE Command Center Tile technology. The GE Tiles sync up with our electronic medical records system to give insights into each patient’s condition and progression in care. This information helps our caregivers determine which Swedish location has capacity and is best suited to provide care with the appropriate specialties available. We also monitor key milestones during a patient’s hospitalization to ensure their care plan is on track. Ultimately, this leads to better care and a shorter and safer hospital experience.

How will the STOC help patients?

Whether you’re in the hospital for an illness or procedure or in an emergency department seeking care, no one wants to stay at a hospital longer than necessary. 

With the STOC, Swedish will be able to provide you with faster, more effective care closer to home, so you can get on with living life and enjoying more time with your family. The Swedish STOC has “eyes” on you during your whole time at Swedish, making sure that your care is as seamless and as efficient as possible until you can be discharged home.

Making care decisions with more information

With the STOC collating data from across all eight Providence Swedish hospitals in western Washington, we can find the right facility for your needs as soon as possible. We’ll be able to track your progression and status quickly and decide whether alternative interventions or escalations are needed to make sure you keep moving toward your goals throughout your hospital stay. Through the GE Tiles in the STOC, we are now also able to also provide our bedside caregivers with an enormous amount of essential information related to your care as they work with you through your recovery.

With predictive analytics, the STOC can recognize trends in the patient’s recovery and give the family and the patient more time to prepare and consider care options during and after their hospital stay.

This robust data can also help track patient recovery after a health event or procedure. For example, a patient who underwent a thrombectomy to treat a stroke may need skilled nursing care after being discharged, but that need may not be clear until the patient is close to leaving the hospital. With predictive analytics, the STOC can recognize trends in the patient’s recovery and see that they need skilled nursing care earlier in their hospital stay, giving the family and the patient more time to prepare and consider care options.

More efficient and timely care

The STOC was initially located on the Swedish First Hill campus, but late this summer the STOC moved to a new, 19,000-square-foot space in the Georgetown neighborhood. This will allow a larger group of key caregivers to collaborate and use the STOC data to improve care. The facility will include dozens of nurses, care managers, surgical services navigators, staffing specialists and clinical expediters from multiple disciplines who will join with Swedish doctors and caregivers at our hospitals as well as outside referring facilities. The goal will be to improve the efficiency and quality of the care we provide with a focus on our patients having the best experiences possible in what often are stressful moments.

With the coordination (of STOC), patients may be able to be discharged sooner and be set up for a successful recovery when they get home.

Caregivers at the Swedish STOC will easily manage tasks usually done at our hospitals, such as assisting in admissions and discharges, coordinating care and monitoring and resolving barriers. Nurses and care coordinators will also be able to collaborate with the bedside teams on care plans for patients with more complex care needs. With this coordination, patients may be able to be discharged sooner and be set up for a successful recovery when they get home.

 

The STOC also allows Swedish to provide better care for those experiencing a behavioral health crisis. As community-based and hospital resources have become scarcer, our community members who are experiencing a behavioral health crisis have struggled to get appropriate, timely care. The STOC uses data in coordination with our patient navigators, inpatient units and community partners to ensure our behavioral health patients have quick access to the care they deserve.

Our goal is to develop a future state of providing telehealth medical or psychiatric evaluations for some patients, so they don’t have to wait for an in-person evaluation in the ER. 

Our goal is to develop a future state where the STOC will assist in evaluating and providing telehealth assessments for medical or psychiatric evaluations for some patients, so they don’t have to wait for an in-person evaluation in the ER. 

“No one should have to wait for care,” says Kristy Carrington, Providence Swedish's interim North Puget Sound chief executive. “The STOC will eliminate duplication of work and processes and improve coordination, so patients get the care they need when they need it.”

The same technology at the STOC is also being used at Johns Hopkins University. Within four years of rolling out the GE Tiles, Johns Hopkins saw:

  • A 65% increase in their acceptance of patient transfers from other hospitals so those who need care can get it as soon as possible
  • A 70% reduction in transfer delays from surgery, ensuring their patients have a place to recover afterward
  • A 25% reduction in patients waiting in the emergency department to be admitted

Better hospital staffing

Because the STOC uses computer learning and system oversight, it can also better track patient data and trends. With that information, caregivers can look to predict when Swedish may need to boost or adjust staffing.

In some cases, the predictive data will help us schedule appropriate staffing up to 48 hours in advance, ultimately reducing wait times and bolstering critical service units.

The STOC will take the hundreds of people who care for a patient and better orient them.

“The STOC will take the hundreds of people who care for a patient and better orient them. This will help make sure the patient moves along in their health journey seamlessly,” says Chris Dale, M.D., chief medical officer.

How you can support the Swedish STOC

Thanks to the generous philanthropic support of our community, Swedish patients are already benefiting from the robust data provided by the GE Tiles in the STOC. With your support, the Swedish STOC was able to move into a new, larger facility that allows for more caregiver collaboration. Ultimately, this collaboration translates to more personalized, timely and effective care for our patients and community.

For more information on how you can help shape the future of healthcare with the Swedish STOC, contact Swedish Medical Center Foundation at 206-368-2738 or foundation@swedish.org.

Find a doctor

If you have questions about your health, contact Primary Care services at Swedish. We can accommodate both in-person and virtual visits.

Whether you require an in-person visit or want to consult a doctor virtually, you have options. Swedish Virtual Care connects you face-to-face with a nurse practitioner who can review your symptoms, provide instruction and follow up as needed. If you need to find a doctor, you can use our provider directory.

Join our Patient and Family Advisory Council.

Additional resources 

A vaccine for brain cancer: Swedish researchers are working to make it happen

After a massive heart attack, ECMO saved Vivek’s life

New research brings hope for detecting and preventing Alzheimer’s disease

This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your health care professional's instructions.

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