Virtual Operations Center

Bayhealth Streamlines Patient Placement with New Virtual Operations Center

Wednesday, July 19, 2023 | Expanded Services

Now patients needing a room at Bayhealth’s Kent and Sussex campuses will receive it faster than ever, with the health system’s new, high-tech Virtual Operations Center (VOC) in place. Located at the Blue Hen Corporate Center in Dover, the VOC is the hub for many functions that drive a more efficient flow of patient placement.

With one call to the VOC hotline, clinicians throughout the health system can efficiently place patients transitioning to in-house care from the emergency departments, surgical services, clinical observation units, or any other area of the hospitals. The VOC team, available 24/7, is specially trained to the find the right care, in the right place, at the right time, with the right care team.

As the region’s largest health system, Bayhealth cared for more than 101,000 patients in its emergency department and over 17,000 inpatients in fiscal year 2022. Given that volume, the system has been leading an ongoing, “all-hands-on,” concerted effort to drive efficient patient care while increasing safety and quality. Known at Bayhealth as the Capacity Management project, with performance improvement as the backbone, the effort continues to identify ways to improve processes and led to the launch of the VOC.

“Our patients deserve timely and efficient care and a piece of that has to do with how patients move throughout our health system,” said Chief Nurse Executive and Senior Vice President of Patient Care Service Rosi Wurster, DNP, RN, MPH, NEA-BC, CEN, who supervised the VOC design and opening.

She noted that coming out of the height of the COVID-19 pandemic allowed for a fresh perspective on the way operations are managed.

“Combining resources under one virtual center is already helping us identify areas where we can drive improvements,” said Wurster. “Our center’s use of real-time data to predict and understand trends in patient needs allows us to be proactive in our approach.”

She cited another example of how Bayhealth is prioritizing efficient patient care while increasing safety and quality: the health system recently converted medical surgical units at Kent and Sussex campuses to clinical observation units to free up critical resources in the emergency departments.

“Patients in our clinical observation units may need additional tests or are being treated for something minor,” said Wurster. “Our teams on these units are specifically trained to deliver the care needed with efficiency and we’ve received wonderful feedback about them from patients and their care partners. Should patients need more treatment after 24 hours, our expert inpatient teams continue with their care.”

The Capacity Management project continues to flourish as leaders and teams across the health system reimagine how our patients move through the system. Our mission is to strengthen the health of our community and the VOC is just one way that shows commitment to our mission. “It’s an exciting time for our patients and for our teams to be a part of Bayhealth,” said Wurster.

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