Texas Children’s Hospital has won the 2017 Excellence in Health Care Facility Management Award for its Mission Control project, which created a unified operations and communications hub that uses real-time data to effectively manage the movement of patients. The award, presented by the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) of the American Hospital Association and sponsored by Trane, was announced during National Health Care Facility and Engineering Week, which ran from October 22-28.

The Excellence in Health Facility Management Award recognizes individuals or facility management departments that implement new or innovative programs or processes to optimize the physical environment and improve patient care. The team at Texas Children’s Hospital, a 745-bed facility in Houston, created a unified operations center, known as “Mission Control.”

Mission Control brought together critical care admissions, room management, critical clinical alert systems, air and ground transportation, code dispatching, facilities, and security. The Mission Control room houses a huge LED display showing patient admissions and dispatches, the location of ambulances, and other key information. Each workstation has four monitors showing information vital to the patient transportation process.

By being in the same room and sharing information, the team can make the best decisions about patients coming to or leaving Texas Children’s Hospital.

“This unified operation has helped our institution reduce transportation times, improve the patient acceptance process, and optimize system communication,” says Mark Mullarkey, Texas Children’s Hospital executive vice president. “Our facilities management group has played a key role in developing the vision and assisting in bringing Mission Control to life.”

After the Mission Control project was completed, the hospital’s transfer team reduced the time from dispatch to pickup. The decrease in response time led to an increase in transports to the hospital.