Automated planning through winter
23/12/2013by Rob Findlay
You can of course plan for winter. Christmas happens at the same time every year, and after that it’s no secret that it gets colder and lots of winter illnesses kick in.
But not every winter is the same. Sometimes it is exceptionally cold in December and sometimes spring is unusually late. Seasonal flu is very variable and so is norovirus. No matter how carefully you plan for winter, it never turns out quite the way you hoped.
When the unexpected happens, NHS operational managers and clinicians are good at rising to the challenge. Patient flow is kept up, elective patients are rearranged, and the next week or two are juggled to keep everything on track.
But what about after that? Will everything still be OK in 6 weeks or 3 months time? That’s a lot harder to answer. You don’t know the names of those patients yet, or exactly which clinicians will be working. You have to make assumptions about things like seasonal demand, whether other specialties’ waiting times pressures will be manageable or not, how much activity you can get through… lots of detail that you can’t do in your head.
To make matters worse: when you need this most, you’re too busy fire-fighting. You don’t have time to sit down and do all the detailed analysis. You need it done for you, regularly and automatically.
With today’s technology, this is now straightforward. Modern business intelligence systems can use Gooroo Planner directly, as if it were part of your own software. All your plans can be refreshed automatically every week, and dropped right into your own familiar dashboards. So whenever you look up your demand, activity, capacity or waits, you can see your week-by-week outturn compared against properly worked-out and up-to-date plans.
So imagine. It’s coming up to Christmas. Elective admissions are about to slow down, and may not recover fully for several weeks. Is your waiting list the right size now; not just against the targets, but for this time of year? If not, what do you need to do? Now fast-forward to January. If you lose a week of elective activity because of norovirus, what’s the minimum you need to do in February to stop waiting times from breaching in March?
With Gooroo Planner integrated into your updated dashboards, you can face your winter surprises with confidence. All you need from us is the Planner API and some Planner Professional licences; don’t worry about support, it’s all bundled in. Just get in touch, and we’ll be happy to arrange a free on-site demo: firstname.lastname@example.orgReturn to Post Index