Patients will now experience a more streamlined and organized hospital stay thanks to a new Care Traffic Control Center at Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS). The new control center will help keep patients steadily progressing through the stages of care at all four NGHS hospitals, ensuring patients get the right care at the right time – and get back home as soon as it’s medically safe.
“A lot of thought went into this project, making sure it’s the best it can be,” said Brian Schaub, Executive Director of Systems, Operations and Resources at NGHS. “Seeing this place come to life has been incredible, and having all of our teams come together to make it happen has really shown me how much our people care for the communities we serve.”
The NGHS team held a ribbon cutting for the new Care Traffic Control Center, located at 1405 Jesse Jewell Parkway, on July 11 to celebrate all that’s been put in place to help people.
“Care Traffic Control for NGHS is what air traffic control is for airports,” said Bedri Yusuf, MD, Chief Physician Executive at Northeast Georgia Physicians Group (NGPG). “With the growth we’ve seen in recent years, we’re excited to be able to serve more patients well and ensure our teams are coordinated across the entire system, which in turn will reduce wait times for patients and improve patient throughput across the health system.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, some patients at NGHS had to be treated in hallways and makeshift patient rooms because there were no beds available — a scenario that was commonplace across the world. Others were left in waiting rooms for much longer than they or any provider at the hospital wanted them to be. So, after being forced into this reactive response of managing hospital capacity, NGHS began looking for a more proactive approach moving forward — monitoring admissions and discharges on a daily basis in a centralized location — in order to bring a better experience to its patients while enhancing processes and communication for its physicians and staff.
That’s where Care Traffic Control comes in. In this new space, bed assignments for all patients are tracked on more than a dozen TVs across the front of the room. The staff hear calls coming in with patients on ambulances or in the air being flown in from surrounding areas. Armed with a headset and four computer screens on the desk in front of them, these staff make sure the incoming patients get to the right place when they arrive. Whether that means there’s already an open space they assign to them, or someone else needs to be transferred or moved to another floor to make room – it’s all tracked by Care Traffic Control.
These TVs and the sea of computer screens across the Care Traffic Control center even include information on patients being transferred just between NGHS hospitals, and it all happens in real time and is tracked live, ensuring everyone is on the same page and patients are able to get the care they need, when and where they need it.
“It really does pull together everybody, from physicians, nurses and other members of the care team,” said Krupa Desai, MD, Care Traffic Control Medical Director. “With this new Care Traffic Control center, we’re able to get everyone involved, with the same goal of improving the health of the community in all we do.”
About Northeast Georgia Health System
Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) is a non-profit on a mission of improving the health of our community in all we do. Our team cares for more than 1 million people across the region through four hospitals and a variety of outpatient locations. Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) has campuses in Gainesville, Braselton, Winder and Dahlonega – with a total of more than 700 beds and more than 1,100 medical staff members representing more than 60 specialties. Learn more at www.nghs.com.