The Future is Now: Intelligent Delivery of In-Home Health, Hospice & Palliative Care

 The Future is Now:  Celtic Healthcare, Allegheny Health Network and Carnegie Mellon Pioneer the Intelligent Delivery of In-Home Health, Hospice and Palliative Care

                                                             Contact:  Jodi McKinney,

Pittsburgh, PA (July 18, 2016) — In a partnership between Celtic Healthcare, Allegheny Health Network Healthcare@Home and The Intelligent Coordination and Logistics Laboratory (ICLL) of the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, the future of data-driven in-home health, hospice and palliative care is being created with IDSHealthcare.

IDSHealthcare (Intelligent Dynamic Scheduler for Healthcare) is a real-time decision support and scheduling system for the most efficient, cost-effective and patient-appropriate delivery of healthcare to the home.

According to Arnie Burchianti, CEO of Celtic Healthcare, “This groundbreaking software tool will enhance the effectiveness of home health and hospice care providers by tightly integrating scheduling and logistics of patients into the management and delivery of their healthcare.”

“Using experience learned and applied through the ICLL’s REVAMP dynamic scheduling technology, together with two-way communication between Celtic Healthcare’s CIBS (Celtic Integrated Business System) software and the patient, IDSHealthcare will get the right expertise and care at the right time and in the right place to patients by quickly assessing the most appropriate allocation of resources,” Burchianti said.

“With a company-wide focus on ‘unfaltering responsiveness’ as our ultimate goal for the patients we serve,” Burchianti continues, “IDSHealthcare will certainly play an important role in care delivery.”

To understand the challenges faced by hospice and home health care providers and to provide a comprehensive solution to them, a team led by Zack Rubinstein and Stephen F. Smith of the Robotics Institute, working through Carnegie Mellon University’s Disruptive Health Technology Institute, is collaborating with Dr. Randy Herbert, Division Director of Supportive Care and Geriatrics at Allegheny Health Network and Sean Hunt, Vice President of Data & Analytics at Celtic Healthcare. The goal is to supplement the CIBS system by combining Carnegie Mellon’s optimization technology with Celtic Healthcare’s existing patient data models and user-interface infrastructure.

In-home hospice and home healthcare services are comprised of a complex set of processes requiring significant coordination among care providers.  A single patient may need to see as many as seven different care providers, including nurses, home health aides, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, social workers and chaplains.  Given the changing needs of patients and their conditions, appropriate service and timing of those services is critical to providing the absolute best care.

“IDSHealthcare will do this by providing more predictable and cost-effective execution of planned visits that will reduce travel time of care providers and open capacity for these providers to see more patients, said Rubinstein, Principle Project Scientist, Carnegie Mellon University.  “Additionally, it will provide up-to-date information on expected service times to better inform both service care providers and patients.  It will also better match services to patients based on best available assessment of their conditions and benefits.”

IDSHealthcare will be piloted to patients served in Southwestern Pennsylvania through the home healthcare and hospice services of Allegheny Health Network’s Healthcare@Home.

“Nurses, therapists, and other allied health professionals at Healthcare@Home are making approximately 5,000 patient visits per month that need carefully coordinated and scheduled,” said Dr. Brian Holzer, Senior Vice-President of Home & Community Services at Highmark Health and AHN and Head of AHN Healthcare@Home.  “It is very exciting to be partnering with Celtic Healthcare and Carnegie Mellon on an initiative so closely aligned to AHN Healthcare@Home’s goal of establishing new standards in home and community based healthcare services for Western Pennsylvania.  IDSHealthcare is a highly innovative platform that will help us further enhance and redefine the patient experience.

Without IDSHealthcare, service providers have to manually adjust their pre-assigned schedules when alerted to a change in a patient’s condition and the need to adjust visit timing.  This causes issues with re-arranging timing and visits for other patients.   On top of re-routing issues, uncertainties around timing to get from one location to another include traffic conditions during different times of day, road construction, and weather conditions.  Complicating things even further are constraints of regulations such as number and timing of visits that Medicare or other insurance providers will allow.

With IDSHealthcare, a `living’ model of scheduled services are kept in sync with actual execution events (i.e. cancellations of appointments, actual durations for completed services and travels, and resource failures). As the day progresses and actual durations of services and travel digress from expected times, existing requirements are cancelled, and new ones emerge.  IDSHealthcare continuously maintains best estimates for expected service times. The managers will use the updated times to detect and address downstream issues as quickly as possible.

In the case of new patient requirements, IDSHealthcare will generate efficient options for achieving them, allowing a manager to select his or her preferred option. For example, if a patient’s condition changes such that he will need a particular service that afternoon, the IDSHealthcare will generate options for getting the appropriate service to that patient at an appropriate time given the current and expected utilization of available resources. All options will be checked for viability and will generate warnings if adopting one results in start times for some appointments occurring outside an acceptable time window.

In addition to improving task allocation by managers, IDSHealthcare will also keep patients better informed about when services will occur.  If a service for a patient is delayed (but still within the acceptable window) by an upstream appointment for another patient taking longer than expected, IDSHealthcare, after being informed of the extended duration, will immediately update the expected service time of the downstream service and relay that information to the affected patient.  This notification is done by an automated phone call and/or text message to the patient.

Development is currently underway to roll this pilot program of intelligent delivery of in-home care out to in 2017 to hospice and home health care patients in Southwestern Pennsylvania.


About Celtic Healthcare:

Celtic Healthcare is dedicated to providing patients with “Innovative Healthcare at Home.”  It takes much more than compassionate care to achieve this. We incorporate the most innovative technology into our Hospice, Palliative, and Home Health services.  By streamlining the administrative and clinical processes and procedures, Celtic Healthcare delivers extraordinary customer communication, boosts healthcare outcomes, and enhances the quality of life for our patients and their families.

Celtic currently serves patients in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Missouri, and Maryland.  For more information, please visit our website at


About the Intelligent Coordination and Logistics Laboratory (ICLL) of the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University:


The Intelligent Coordination and Logistics Laboratory (ICLL) of the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University provides new opportunities for addressing problems of large-scale coordination and logistics.  ICLL is developing new theories, techniques and software technologies that capitalize on these opportunities and enable flexible, robust, efficient, and high quality management and control of complex organizations. ICLL research is tackling fundamental technological challenges relating to problem complexity and solution/system scalability, decision-making under diverse and complex constraints, time-stressed decision-making in dynamic domains, human-computer collaboration, multi-agent and distributed decision-making, and solution/system reconfigurability, reuse and self-improvement. ICLL research is driven by the requirements and complexities of actual applications spanning manufacturing management, transportation logistics, space mission planning, and health care delivery.


 About Allegheny Health Network Healthcare@Home

Allegheny Health Network, part of Highmark Health, is an integrated healthcare delivery system serving the greater Western Pennsylvania region.  The Network is composed of eight hospitals, including Allegheny General Hospital, its flagship academic medical center in Pittsburgh, Allegheny Valley Hospital in Natrona Heights, Canonsburg Hospital in Canonsburg, Forbes Hospital in Monroeville, Jefferson Hospital in Jefferson Hills, Saint Vincent Hospital in Erie, West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh and Westfield Memorial Hospital in Westfield, NY.  The Network is also home to a comprehensive research institute; Health + Wellness Pavilions; an employed physician organization, home and community based health services and a group purchasing organization. The Network employs approximately 17,500 people, has more than 2,800 physicians on its medical staff and serves as a clinical campus for Drexel University College of Medicine, Temple University School of Medicine, and the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.



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