As a Physician Executive and a professional ER Operations Consultant I am always looking for innovative ways to help Hospitals and Physician teams improve their operational efficiency with little or no cost. I am always needing tools to help clients visualize their challenges and constraints as well as critically think of innovative solutions. This created the foundation for the ER Flow Mobile App.
What it does
The ER Flow Mobile App simulates ER patient flow using either entered facility data fields, default values or benchmarked values. With 1 min = 0.1 sec, the app can simulate a 24 hour period in less than 3 minutes providing very rapid feedback to the user. Using queuing theory while incorporating the randomness inherent in the real world ER experience, ER Flow can predict the percentage of patients leaving without being seen (LWBS) which is one of the highest liabilities for not only patients, but Hospitals, Nurses and Physicians. This app gives users the opportunity to visualize operational inefficiencies as well as see the effects of changing any single parameter to test innovate process changes without adding expensive resources like additional FTE's.
How I built it
I built the app using Xcode and the iOS SDK in Objective-C.
Challenges I ran into
The main challenge I ran into was incorporating randomness into the flow while still maintaining the common flow patterns typical of ER flow modeling. Also, adding the mathematics of queuing theory provided a hearty challenge since the negative effects of queuing are exponential.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
I'm proud of the fact that the app has stood up to the test of real facility data and has been successfully used in beta testing to offer real world solutions.
What I learned
I learned that simulating operational flow is uniquely challenging.
What's next for ER Flow
ER Flow will either be sold in full as an enterprise app or offered by subscription to consultants and Hospitals on a monthly renewal basis.