September 1, 2022

Patient Capacity Command Center formed

With Vanderbilt Health being the region’s only provider of many highly specialized adult and pediatric clinical services, its hospitals and many of its ambulatory clinics face daily patient capacity constraints. These constraints have been exacerbated by rapid growth across Middle Tennessee, the Medical Center’s ongoing staffing challenges and the impact on well-being, as well as the lingering volume of COVID patients being cared for across the system.

In response to the increasing demand for services, the Patient Capacity Task Force has been formed in a Command Center type structure The command center is staffed with individuals from across the organization who have decision-making authority for their areas.

The group is charged with identifying and eliminating capacity constraints throughout the health system that could limit the ability to consistently serve all patients in a timely and equitable manner.

The group’s initial work will be to identify and consolidate system level data to capture the status of current capacity demands and help pinpoint the most viable tactics to mitigate capacity challenges.

The executive leader for the Patient Capacity Command Center is C. Wright Pinson, MBA, MD, Deputy Chief Officer and Chief Health System Officer for Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The command center’s core team includes Pinson along with Chad Fitzgerald, JD, who will serve as the Command Center’s administrator. Physician leaders include Drs. Paul Sternberg, Warren Sandberg, David Raiford, Kimryn Rathmell, John Thomas, Erik Hess, and Stephan Russ. The Nursing leader is Marilyn Dubree, MSN, RN. Senior hospital and clinic leaders will also provide critical leadership.

“High demand for our services will continue even if we see a significant decrease in COVID patients needing our care. Our workforce has shown tremendous perseverance and teamwork through COVID and our persistent capacity challenges. We need to employ new or enhanced strategies that will positively impact the capacity constraints we are experiencing on our central campus and at our community hospitals. The goal of this team is to provide data and guidance that will help,” Pinson said.