Each year, the U.S. healthcare system loses about $1 trillion to waste. One major contributor is inefficient operations, such poor operating room utilization or discharge planning that begins too late.
To address this issue, Neenah, Wisconsin-based health system ThedaCare announced last week it is investing $3 million into Qventus, a company that sells artificial intelligence software to health systems for care operations automation.
More and more health systems have been making investments in health technology companies, but it is relatively rare for them to publicly disclose the amount.
ThedaCare joined other investors in Qventus’ $50 million growth investment round, which the company announced in February. Some of those investors include Premier, Norwest Partners and THL.
Mark Thompson, the health system’s chief financial officer and chief operating officer, said ThedaCare chose to invest in Qventus because “the two organizations are aligned in envisioning the future of health care” and agree that the deployment of care operations automation can solve some of the biggest operational and financial pressures facing hospitals.
Qventus, which was founded in 2012 and is based in Mountain View, California, offers technology that optimizes efficiency in inpatient settings, perioperative care settings and command centers.
The company’s inpatient technology automates early discharge planning to allow for greater bed capacity, and its perioperative solution automates operating room scheduling processes to improve OR access for increased surgical revenue. The command center technology optimizes health systems’ patient flow and resource utilization, enabling them to better manage demand, care progression and post-acute placement.
By implementing Qventus technology, Thompson said ThedaCare expects to give its patients timelier discharges, increased transparency about their care progression, shorter lead times for surgeries. He pointed out that the technology deployment will benefit staff as well because they will have less manual work to do, such as making back-and-forth phone calls for discharge planning.
Through its investment, ThedaCare will collaborate with Qventus to develop new products, as well as support the company in expanding its technology to additional hospitals across the country, according to Thompson.
He said the health system made the decision to pursue this partnership with Qventus after it had weathered the brutal operational challenges posed by the pandemic. To Thompson, ThedaCare, like many other providers, is in a place where they must have a laser focus on optimizing clinical and operational resources if they want to succeed.
To measure the success of its partnership with Qventus, the health system will closely track the reduction in inpatient length of stay for patients who are medically ready for discharge, so that they can safely transition to their next phase of care, such as a home or skilled nursing facility.
ThedaCare will also track the reduction in wait time for scheduled surgeries, as well as conduct qualitative research on patient and employee satisfaction.
Thompson believes Qventus’ suite of automation technology was the best option to optimize operations at ThedaCare because its platform works in a variety of settings. As the company continues to raise money and partner with providers to refine its technology, it could be trying to get a leg up on its competitors — many of which are EHR vendors that offer add-on automation solutions, like Epic, Cerner and Meditech.
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