If you have ever been a hospital patient (and who hasn’t?), you know how elusive true efficiency can be. Chances are that you have often waited hours to get the exams, scans, and care you needed during your last hospital stay. Hospitals know how frustrating – and expensive – this inefficiency can be, and many are working hard to improve patient flow, patient progression, and care coordination.
These complex factors sparked an idea that Care Logistics, a healthcare software provider based in Alpharetta, Ga., came up with in 2008. The goal was to improve patient throughput and flow in ways that would benefit hospitals’ operations. This meant focusing on patient experience and considering everything that affects a patient’s journey through the hospital, from intake to tests to transports to release. For example, if a patient needed three procedures, the system would coordinate those procedures so the patient doesn’t have to be transported three different times.
Care Logistic’s software platform, Hospital Operating System, hit the market in 2008. Designed as a centralized control platform that helps hospital staff with situational awareness, it was fairly straightforward in its earliest form, with display boards for users to access information. Analytics were provided by QlikView and Crystal Reports behind the scenes.
By 2010, the development team had added TIBCO Jaspersoft to the analytics suite, essentially replacing Crystal Reports. At the time, Jaspersoft was primarily used for historical ad-hoc reporting. It was also around this time that Care Logistics began porting Hospital Operating System to the cloud, settling on AWS as its cloud of choice, and storing data in AWS S3 buckets.
Growth Brings New Challenges
Steve Smith, Care Logistic’s director of technical product management and business intelligence, first learned about the Hospital Operating System when working at a hospital, where he used the patient experience software in its earlier iterations.
In a way, Smith indicated, Hospital Operating System was becoming a victim of its own success. Hospitals loved the platform but wanted more flexibility, capabilities, and customization. As a result, the Care Logistics team started thinking about how it could expand the functionality of its dashboards and display them on wall-mounted boards, better show patient flow, and present more detailed, data-driven insights to users.
Management of the constantly flowing data, which the platform ingests from its own applications and its customers’ applications, posed a chief challenge for the Care Logistics team. Overcoming the challenges was important, since Hospital Operating System’s value proposition is to give hospitals curated, actionable data that will keep operations on track.
At first, the team investigated additional data management tools before realizing new capabilities available in Jaspersoft.
“Since we initially engaged with [Jaspersoft], the company had made a lot of enhancements, especially around the dashboarding and embedding capabilities with its visualized JS language,” Smith explained. “We did a deeper dive and thought we could use Jasper as our user interface and build a secure platform to embed it into a webpage and display it on a wall-mounted board.”
The result was EmpowerVision, which debuted in 2021. EmpowerVision provides configurational visualizations for customers, while other dashboards provide more detailed information, including electronic health records and patient logistics. With this setup, Care Logistics can create tools and data in Jaspersoft and display it with EmpowerVision.
In addition to improving real-time information, the Care Logistics team used Jaspersoft to provide more historical information. “We can give customers a dashboard that shows their top five barriers, but they may want to see the case detail around each barrier – which unit, which nurse was in charge, etc.,” Smith said. “Now we can give them the ability to drill down.”
Around that same time, the Care Logistics team added other important Hospital Operating System functions, including a Chromium extension mounted on the remote display computer and Keycloak for identity and access management.
While the upgraded system has greatly improved patient flow and care coordination, Smith said the company now has the technology and expertise to make even more changes. Care Logistics would like address further impediments to patient flow. Smith’s team is beginning to capture data about those barriers and produce reports and dashboards that show them in real time.
Additionally, Care Logistics has plans to expand its data lake with other customer information, such as financial information, which would enable the Hospital Operating System to track customers’ financial performance. The data lake would also house data from Care Logistics’ applications, which would provide multitenant visibility to all its customers.
About the authorKaren D. Schwartz is a technology and business writer with more than 20 years of experience. She has written on a broad range of technology topics for publications including CIO, InformationWeek, GCN, FCW, FedTech, BizTech, eWeek and Government Executive.