Judy Reitz Capacity Command Center
Launched in 2016, the center improves efficiency of patient throughput and clinical care throughout the Johns Hopkins Health System, prioritizing quality, safety and the institution’s tripartite mission of innovative research, education and patient care.
See the Command Center in Action
Since 2016, the command center has incorporated the latest in system engineering, predictive analytics and innovative problem-solving to better manage patient throughout.
About the Capacity Command Center
Led by a small core team, the Capacity Command Center is staffed by specialists on the Hopkins Access Line (HAL), HopComm/Lifeline and the bed management team.
Our Core Team
Each month, the HAL coordinators handle more than 20,000 phone calls, linking outside providers with Johns Hopkins Medicine providers to facilitate approximately 700 patient transfers to Johns Hopkins hospitals.
HopComm coordinates transportation requests for the critical care transport team and handles emergency paging at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. They manage 40,000 patient transports across our health system annually.
The bed management team assigns the right patient to the right bed at the right time. These seasoned nurses lead this function 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The capacity management medical director works in concert with the center’s administrator to ensure the effectiveness of the command center as related to patient flow, and to define and implement strategies that improve patient flow. This role supports day-to-day activities of the command center, including refining operating mechanisms, addressing barriers to flow and resolving service assignment issues.
The admitting team is the hub of inpatient admission services process for the hospital. Admitting staff members facilitate all hospitalized admissions through various points within the hospital, including Hopkins Access line, the Emergency Department and operating room registration. They also serve as the decedent affairs department for the hospital. Learn more about the hospital admissions process.
The Capacity Command Center was designed to house teams who had never shared a common space before. Features of the space include:
- A 5,500-squre foot space with 38 workstations, three conference rooms, eight offices and 50 lockers
- Adjustable lighting by quadrant
- Noise-dampening walls, ceiling and floors
- Modular floors to allow for flexibility in layout of desks
- Adjustable desks for sitting or standing
- Glass conference rooms to maintain situation awareness within the center
- Casual seating areas in the back of the command center for informal meetings
The Wall of Analytics developed with GE Healthcare includes the following:
- 22 digital screens displaying actionable, real-time information to command center staff
- 13 predictive analytic “tiles” with alerts to notify staff members about potential problems, prioritize work and develop solutions to avoided crises
- Continually refreshing displays that ensure that the information on the Wall is less than three minutes old
- A digital interface to control the Wall of Analytics
- Web-based tiles to allow for viewing outside the command center
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Capacity Command Center became a central hub of operations not just for The Johns Hopkins Hospital, but for the health system as a whole. A few of the lasting operational legacies include:
- Daily bed management huddles with the departments of Medicine, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Surgery and Adult Surgical Gynecology to understand planned discharges and expected demand for patient beds
- Weekly command center optimization meeting in which HopComm, bed management, Hopkins Access Line and admitting supervisors discuss internal operations
- Three-times-weekly executive operations huddle with leaders to discuss capacity, barriers to care progression and the time-sensitive or critical issues impacting the hospital
- Monthly physician advisory meeting in which physician leaders perform case reviews and determine how to improve clinical processes
- Monthly operating metrics review by command center leaders, focusing on operations and areas of improvement
- Quarterly leadership presentations on focused topics such as quality improvement initiatives, length of stay analyses and strategic imperatives around capacity
The bed management team assigns the right patient to the right bed at the right time. The bed management team staffs this function 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and act as the hospital administrator on call after hours when needed.
Comprised primarily of experienced registered nurses, the bed management team is the gateway to patient access for nearly 100 admissions daily, through all points of access to the hospital — the Emergency Department, the Department of Surgery, the Hopkins Access Line, and direct admissions.
They use their clinical skills to identify and expedite the most appropriate placement to admit patients quickly and safely.
The bed managers also host nearly a dozen meetings daily to ensure that they have the latest information about available capacity at the hospital and throughout the health system. They lead the comprehensive unit safety program (CUSP) for the Capacity Command Center as well.
Additionally, the Capacity Command Center is home to the Hopkins Triage and Integration Physician role (HTRIP). These critical care physicians continually evaluate hospital capacity to accept patients requiring admission to an intensive care unit. They help to eliminate barriers to care progression, allowing patients to move seamlessly through every level of care between admission and discharge.
Chief Administrative Officer, Emergency Medicine and Capacity Management
Christina Staten, MS, RT(R)(CV)
Assistant Administrator, Office of Capacity Management