East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust

Implementation of Operational Control Centre (OCC)

“The Operational Control Centre now helps me to quickly see where the blockages are and, importantly, what needs to be done. I know who I need to call to get patients flowing again – and it even works on my iPhone, outside the trust.”

Elisa Steele, Senior Matron, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust.


The trust’s Microsoft Excel system added all the information it had into one spreadsheet, which was colour-coded based on severity. However, and being a manual process, the problem was that the information was well out-of-date even when produced, and in the fast-paced environment of East Kent Hospitals’ A&E Department, it became more of a reporting tool of what had happened, rather than a tool to inform what should  happen or is happening. Not only was it slow, it was subject to mistakes: the consequences were catastrophic if it wasn’t saved properly, Microsoft Excel became non-responsive or shut down, got lost, or a key member of staff was on annual leave. Operational Control Centre (OCC) has now replaced the actual whiteboard, which would regularly be erased, and provides a whole system view of the hospital and capacity issues.


We presented and demonstrated an app called Operational Control Centre (OCC) which presents specific real-time information about A&E. We worked closely with the trust to tailor the application to their needs through a series of intense steering group sessions and interviews with a number of trust staff.


The trust now has an ‘at a glance’ view of the A&E department, showing all patients in A&E, with what they have been admitted, when and what they have had ‘done’, what they are waiting for next, and how long they have been waiting at each stage. OCC allows the team to get a better whole system view of the hospital and capacity issues.

Patients coming to the end of their episode can prompt alerts for bed teams elsewhere in the trust, or discharge teams (e.g. for social care). If patients have been waiting a longer than expected time for something, the colours of the icons on the screen alert users to this, and action can be taken. You can also filter patients by age, diagnosis, alert status, or by length of time spent in the department to make it really user friendly.

OCC has brought greater efficiency to the hospital: people now spend much less time tracking and trawling for information that is often out-of-date, and more time discussing important issues. OCC has replaced the whiteboard system and provides a whole system view of the hospital and capacity issues. People have better access to information, and in times of crisis or problems, it allows trust staff to understand whether there is a system or site problem.

To find out more about OCC and how it can benefit your organisation contact us.