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CHI Franciscan creates AI-powered hospital mission control center, first in state


It won’t be sending anyone to the moon or anything of the sort, but the new Mission Control Center at CHI Franciscan is a technological advancement that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to optimize hospital management and patient care.

“I think that anything that they could do to manage patient flow and if that somehow translates into lower-cost hospital care — and I suspect that it won’t — but if it does, great,” said KIRO Radio’s Mike Lewis. “This is essentially inventory control … these systems are only as smart as the people, and it’s not that you can get them smart enough to do it on their own, unless they have in-bed sensors, unless they have some way of tracking or getting people monitoring bracelets when they’re in there.”

The new system was built in collaboration with GE Healthcare, and harnesses AI and advanced analytics to coordinate patient care and resources for eight of its acute care hospitals, which sees nearly 325,000 ER visits and over 300,000 inpatient days each year. With real-time data that helps identify potential issues faster, care teams will likely be able to more efficiently manage transfers, care progression, discharges, and help reduce patient wait time, among other benefits.

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“This is going to involve personal oversight, like any system like this,” Lewis said. “So how good is this system’s going to be? As good as the oversight.”

The actual mission control center was inspired by NASA’s version, and houses an 18-screen video wall with 12 analytic tiles that provide live data from each hospital. Data will be stored and protected in the cloud using Microsoft Azure. The elaborate AI-based hospital system is the first of its kind in Washington, and the fifth globally.

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“With available healthcare information and advances in data protection and governance, researchers and physicians can now make data-driven, actionable and personalized care recommendations,” said Neil Jordan, GM Health Industry at Microsoft. “Working with organizations such as CHI Franciscan and GE Healthcare is accelerating innovation with advanced technologies like AI, driving excellence in healthcare delivery and improving operational efficiencies across the healthcare ecosystem.”

Listen to The Candy, Mike, and Todd Show weekdays from 3-7 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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