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Patient flow

VCH selects Emendo for capacity management

VANCOUVER – CapPlan, a new planning tool developed by Emendo, is about to improve staff and facility scheduling across six Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) hospital sites. The new tool will directly benefit patients by increasing their access to an acute care bed.

CapPlan is widely used at hospitals in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, and VCH is the first health region in Canada to implement Emendo’s innovative hospital capacity-planning tool.

“We have been seeking an effective tool that has the ability to accurately forecast inpatient demand and staffing requirements across all wards at any time,” said Mark Chase, Executive Director, Decision Support, VCH. “This new tool will allow us to track peak patient usage and recognize recurring patterns. It will also help us manage occasional events ranging from seasonal closures to H1N1 outbreaks.”

CapPlan integrates data from multiple sources to improve capacity planning and operational performance in hospitals. Administrators and nurses can easily see in real-time how many patients have been admitted, how many beds are occupied, and the patient's predicted length of stay.

With CapPlan, staff can also model different scenarios, taking into account seasonal fluctuations in demand, and proactively plan leave rosters, bed allocations and theatre schedules accordingly.

“Our implementation of CapPlan fully supports VCH’s workforce optimization initiatives,” said Duncan Campbell (pictured), Chief Financial Officer & VP Systems Development & Performance, VCH.

Emendo’s new regional contract with VCH will extend a successful pilot project at Richmond Hospital that began in 2009. “We are delighted to broaden our relationship with VCH and expect to see other hospitals throughout the Province also buying CapPlan,” said Robin Abrey, Emendo’s Canadian Business Development Director. “Hospitals in Canada share many of the same operational challenges as our customers worldwide and health authorities are increasingly seeking smarter, cost effective ways, to meet rising patient demand with existing resources.”

VCH is responsible for the delivery of $2.9 billion in community, hospital and residential care to more than one million people in communities, including Richmond, Vancouver, the North Shore, Sunshine Coast, Sea to Sky corridor, Powell River, Bella Bella and Bella Coola.

New Zealand-based Emendo develops CapPlan, a healthcare-specific capacity planning tool which uses algorithms to match staff and physical resources, including beds and theatres, with patient demand. Hospitals in Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and Canada are using CapPlan to forecast patient demand for a ward, whole hospital or region, for periods of up to five years.

Emendo co-founder Nick Burns said the firm had won the Vancouver contract, after a tender in which two “reputable North American” sellers also competed. “Breaking into a new export market is always a challenge, and Canada is no exception,” Burns said.

“Vancouver Coastal Health is ... an important reference site for us as we focus our sales efforts in North America.”

Emendo employs about 45 staff and has just hired its first recruit to try to break into the United States market. Burns said that would be a challenge, but with President Barack Obama’s health reforms in full swing, this was the time to try.

Posted August 26, 2010