SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital is the first hospital in Spain to have a control center where a team of professionals accesses and evaluates in real time a large volume of key data on the operation of the Hospital in order to regulate the flow of patients and improve hospital management.
Through screens, professionals know at all times how many patients are being operated on in the operating theatres, how many will be admitted to the ICU in the coming hours, how many will be transferred from the ICU to a room, how many are admitted to each floor... In short, they have an overview in real time of what is happening at any given moment in the Hospital, which helps them to make the most appropriate decisions to manage beds and resources in the most optimal way, avoiding saturation and bottlenecks.
According to Francesc Garcia Cuyás, from the Medical Directorate of the SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital, "technological environments such as these can be very useful at times of pandemic peaks such as COVID, but also for other types of health emergencies. The fact that it manages information in real time gives us an immediate view of the status of Intensive Care Unit beds, COVID emergencies or the waiting time for PCR tests pending results, facilitating management and speeding up decision-making".
The area, named Cortex, also includes a Command Center, a patient monitoring system (eCare) and a Contact Centre with patients and their families.
Remote monitoring improves the experience of families in the Hospital and reduces the time in the ICU
From eCare, professionals remotely monitor children who are admitted at all times wherever they are: in their room, walking around the Hospital lobby or playing in the playroom. This initiative has made it possible, for example, for babies with heart problems who previously had to be kept under observation in the ICU to be transferred to a room with their mother with a small connected device that analyses their evolution at all times and alerts professionals if their condition worsens.
The team at the Hospital is now working to be able to detect these complications earlier and even prevent them. The data from each patient will be compared with hundreds of other cases using artificial intelligence to generate new insights about the disease and predict potential complications in advance.
eCare's activity during the first six months of operation has focused on patients admitted to the hospital with cardiological problems, who have been monitored using this system. A preliminary balance reveals that, in addition to improving the experience of patients and their families, because this monitoring system has allowed them greater mobility around the centre, it has also slightly reduced their stay in the ICU.
This paradigm shift in the care of cardiology patients has been possible thanks to the support of the Daniel Bravo Andreu Private Foundation, within the framework of collaboration between this philanthropic organisation and the Hospital Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona, which has positioned the Heart Area as a benchmark in highly complex paediatric cardiology at international level. In the coming months, the Hospital plans to extend this initiative to cardiology patients hospitalised at home and to gradually extend it to patients with other pathologies.
Cortex also has a multi-channel communication area with patients' families called the Contact Centre. This is a facility where professionals remotely visit patients who do not require face-to-face care and deal with the healthcare queries they receive from their families. In this facility, the medical team visits them by telephone and videoconference and resolves their queries by telephone, internet or any other channel. Currently, 46% of the visits made at Sant Joan de Déu are non-face-to-face.