Meet 4 People Reinventing Patient Care Inside Humber’s Command Centre

August 29, 2018

Every day hundreds of patients move through Humber River Hospital. It takes a vast team of highly skilled and highly interdependent healthcare professionals to ensure our patients move through the Hospital smoothly. Constant communication and careful coordination are key. The Command Centre team monitors and manages the flow of our patients at every stage of their care journey with us, using real-time data and video feeds from across the hospital.

It is staffed by an integrated, interdisciplinary team of professionals drawn from key departments across Humber River Hospital, including Emergency, Medicine, Surgery, Nursing, and Operations. When our team identifies a potential patient-flow bottleneck or other delay or problem, they can take action.

Since the Command Centre opened in November 2017, patient flow has already improved, despite an 8% increase in patient visits to the Emergency Department. Compared to last year, the wait time for having an inpatient bed cleaned has been reduced by 45% and the time a patient in the Emergency Department waits for an inpatient bed has been reduced by 33%! These improvements reflect the equivalent improvement in patient flow of opening 23 new beds.

We asked four members of this interdisciplinary team to tell us more about how the Command Centre is reinventing patient care at Humber River Hospital:

Jane Casey, Program Director Emergency Services & Command Centre

“I am the Director of our Hospital Command Centre, which is a first in Canada! The Command Centre team is a dynamic team of leaders and outside-of-the-box thinkers. We’re now fully operational, and working to improve processes at the Hospital so that our frontline staff and physicians can be at the bedside more often with their patients. The real-time information we work with has put a spotlight on what we do well – our successes – as well as our opportunities for improvement. The Command Centre embodies transformational change in health care, and I’ve been really proud of how engaged the staff at Humber River Hospital have been, through contributing their ideas for improved patient care and by visiting the Command Centre to see what we do first-hand.”

Dr. Susan Tory, General Internist and Command Centre Medical Director (right)

“In the Command Centre, my role is to provide the clinical point of view. When we make decisions, I represent the physician voice in the room. We are transforming healthcare by shining a spotlight on inefficiencies and addressing them. If a patient is waiting on an ultrasound to go home, someone in the Command Centre helps make that happen so they can go home sooner. I’m really excited to be a part of that, and I think every hospital will want to be doing this soon.”

Paula McFee-Grant, Clinical Expediter for the Command Centre and Patient Flow Manager

“It’s my job to expedite the bottlenecks in patient flow. I make sure things like beds being cleaned, patients being picked-up by portering, tests results being received, and referrals are done in a timely manner. We’re already making a big difference. What I love about my job is that I can communicate with team members from all areas of the Hospital, now that we sit in the same room. We can see patient flow on the big screens and work together to make the patient experience better.”


Ellen Francesconi, Medical Imaging Inpatient Flow Technologist (left)

“When an inpatient at Humber needs exams or procedures to be done in Medical Imaging, it is my job to make sure it is safe for the patient to do so and coordinate the various exams. Our goal is for the patient to have all the exams done in a timely fashion in one visit to our department, and to reduce stress to the patient, and help the Hospital take care of the patient in the best way possible. My colleagues in General X-ray, CT scan, MRI, Ultrasound, Nuclear Medicine, Interventional Radiology and Breast Health all work very hard and make it possible for me to be successful in my job.”