Operations, Financial & Workflow

Success Stories

How to Significantly Reduce Inpatient Admission Times and Improve Patient Satisfaction

Admitting a patient to inpatient care is a complex process that, unless carefully managed, can lead to long delays in service and a poor patient experience.
 
Thibodaux Regional Medical Center’s consistent focus on patient satisfaction has earned the 185-bed community hospital, located one hour southwest of New Orleans, the Healthgrades® Outstanding Patient Experience Award™ every year since 1998. Not surprisingly, when Thibodaux leadership recently analyzed the hospital’s inpatient admit process, they did so from their patients’ point of view and determined to cut admission wait times. Using focused process improvement methodologies, areas of waste were uncovered, exposing problems such as redundant data collection, and inconsistent processes, which would require innovative solutions.
 
Integrating concepts from the Health Catalyst improvement methodology into its own Lean Six Sigma processes, and with the support of professional services from Health Catalyst, Thibodaux deployed a systematic set of solutions to significantly improve the admission process.
 
Thibodaux’s efforts are driving measurable improvements in the hospital’s inpatient admission process, including:

55 percent reduction in average inpatient admission time
Ranked 99th percentile for patient experience

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From the Boardroom to the Bedside—Using Analytics to Drive a Culture of Continuous Improvement

Tracing its roots back nearly 120 years, Mission Health has a vision to provide world-class care to western North Carolina and beyond—even as the entire healthcare profession experiences a disruptive upheaval. Mission determined to meet these external changes by making a big change of its own: embracing a culture of continuous improvement.
 
Mission subsequently engaged physicians and other clinicians to increase process improvement skills, while expanding access to meaningful data via an analytics platform from Health Catalyst.
 
Results:

20 percent improvement in compliance with severe sepsis; 32 percent reduction in mortality rates; 58 percent increase in sepsis detection.
7 percent reduction in LOS for bowel surgery patients.
34 percent improvement in heart failure LVEF assessment rates.
20 percent increase in “on time” starts as result of OR dashboard.

 

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IU Health Risk Model for CLABSI Shows Great Potential

Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) are serious and sometimes fatal. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one in 20 patients get an infection while receiving medical care.
 
Indiana University Health (IU Health) is a 17-hospital system considered one of the busiest in the U.S. with 130,000 patient admissions annually. A nationally recognized healthcare system, IUH Academic Center recognized the importance of reducing healthcare associated infections (HAI), and embarked on a mission to achieve zero central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSIs).
 
IUH realized that the ability to analyze process measure trends in real time, and identification of patients at high risk of CLABSI, could provide a pathway to deliver additional scrutiny and quickly intervene with these patients, ultimately reducing the rate of CLABSI. Using retrospective data accessible through their analytics platform, IU Health developed a CLABSI predictive risk model to identify the leading measures and variables that were affecting  outcomes, pinpointing which patients were most at risk, moving toward its goal of zero CLABSI.
 
Ultimately, this led to the development of a CLABSI risk prediction model that predicts which patients with a central line will develop a CLABSI with an estimated 87 percent accuracy and a false positive rate of 0.16. Using education and focused interventions IU Health decreased the CLABSI rate by 20 percent over 6 months.

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Using Value to Prioritize and Guide Analytics Investments

With the advent of analytics, hospitals have new access to high quality, reliable data. In turn, this can fuel any number of outcomes improvement projects, but hospitals have finite resources to expend on these initiatives. A process is needed to identify which ones will deliver the highest value and best align with the hospital’s overarching priorities.
 
To balance the demand for analytics support of improvement projects Mission Health designed a prioritization tool that has helped them identify the right projects to approve–while keeping stakeholders more engaged than ever in improving outcomes for patients.
 
To date, 80 percent of 55 approved projects have met or exceeded their initial targets. Actual realized targets include:

32 percent reduction in sepsis mortality
20 percent improved compliance with the sepsis care process
7 percent reduction in LOS for bowel surgery patients

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Data-Driven Approach to Improving Cardiovascular Care and Operations Leads to $75M in Improvements

Health spending in the United States is greater than the gross domestic product of most nations, and the costs for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and stroke care alone total $193.1 billion. CVD accounts for approximately one out of every three deaths in the U.S. and contributes to the shorter life expectancy of Americans. Thirty-five percent of CVD related deaths occur before the age of 75 years, and 19 percent before the age of 65.
 
Allina Health is a large integrated healthcare delivery network operating in Minnesota and western Wisconsin that includes three large cardiac centers. Due to the prevalence and mortality rate of CVD, leaders at Allina Health recognized that they needed to focus on cardiovascular health in order to truly impact the population health and patient outcomes of the communities they serve.
 
By leveraging real-time data from its enterprise data warehouse (EDW), Allina Health effectively identified and addressed clinical practice variation and operational issues affecting cardiovascular care and costs. In doing so, the health system realized more than $75 million in performance enhancement savings and revenue increase over a four-year period by focusing on supply chain, lab test and blood utilization, clinical practice changes and clinical documentation improvement.
 

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Service Lines and Activity-Based Costing Reveal True Cost of Care for UPMC

Between 2007 and 2014, U.S. healthcare costs per capita increased by almost 25 percent. The way in which health systems are typically organized, managed, and budgeted (as departments and units within separate hospitals) works against them when they attempt to improve population health and decrease costs. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), a large health system with more than 20 hospitals and 500 clinics, was keenly aware of this challenge as it embarked on population health and value-based care initiatives that spanned the entire organization.
 
The health system determined that it needed to break down the virtual walls between care centers and standardize service lines across the enterprise. By extension, this organizational change mandated the need for activity-based costing in healthcare that would deliver the insight necessary to run a service line effectively. UPMC organized six service lines within the health system, each spearheaded by clinical, operational, and financial leadership. Each service line uses the health system’s innovative, data-driven activity-based costing methodology to understand the true cost of care.
 
Notable, measurable results of UPMC’s service lines and activity-based costing methodology to date include:

$42 million of cost reduction opportunities (approximately 2 percent of targeted service line cost)
$5 million in supplies savings
Transparency toward identification of contribution margin variation for specific procedures
Up to 97 percent improvement in time to access information

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How to Reduce Clinical Variation and Improve Outcomes While Demonstrating a Positive ROI

Clinical variation can be frustrating for patients and their families, often leaving the impression that healthcare team members are not on the same page and don’t agree on the plan for the patient’s diagnosis or treatment. It is also costly—the Institute of Medicine estimates that $265 billion (30 percent) of healthcare spending is waste that directly results from clinical variation.
 
To reduce unwanted variation, Texas Children’s Hospital invested considerable resources to develop clinical standards tools, including evidence-based order sets; however, demonstrating the effectiveness and utilization of those guidelines, pathways, and order sets had been daunting. To that end, Texas Children’s deployed an analytics platform from Health Catalyst to aggregate and analyze the data needed to perform both of these critical functions.
 
Results:

$2,401 reduction in cost per patient with order set utilization, and an 8.4-day difference in average length of stay (LOS).
$15 million reduction in total direct variable costs in Fiscal Year 2015, $32 million anticipated reduction in Fiscal Year 2016 at the current order set usage rate, and a potential $64 million annual reduction with a hypothetical 80 percent order set usage rate.
1,629 percent return on investment (ROI).

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How One Hospital Embraced Patient Satisfaction Transparency

As consumers pay more for their healthcare they are demanding more transparency. In a telling example, it’s estimated that over 84 percent of patients use online provider reviews to help make care decisions. With increased transparency, hospitals need to develop strategies to address patient satisfaction while finding a way to participate for more fully in the patient satisfaction dialogue and social media communications, including the rating process.
 
One large hospital has done just that by increasing transparency in the patient review process. A key component is providing physician star ratings by patients on the hospital’s own website, with patient survey data sourced from Health Catalyst’s analytics platform. While this strategy took time and effort to win over physician acceptance, it has paid off considerably by taking patient satisfaction to new heights.
 
The overall patient satisfaction improvement initiative, of which the physician transparency effort was a key component, has proven to be resoundingly successful in supporting physicians and staff in the difficult work of providing outstanding and compassionate care – and has reaped impressive results including,

Improved patient satisfaction scores from 60 percent to over 90 percent
Successfully implemented a physician mitigation strategy with a 98 percent comment acceptance rate
Intensified focus on the patient experience through data and education

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Patient-Centered LOS Reduction Initiative Improves Outcomes, Saves Costs

U.S. hospital stays cost the health system at least $377.5 billion per year. In today’s value-based care environment, hospitals are under increasing pressure to avoid patient harm and maintain quality while also lowering costs. Reducing hospital length of stay (LOS), especially as it relates to avoiding unnecessary hospital-acquired conditions (HACs), is a primary indicator of a hospital’s success in achieving these goals.
El Camino Hospital, a 395-bed multi-specialty community hospital in Mountain View, Calif., places a high priority on keeping patients safe. However, when it came to its goal of reducing LOS, leaders recognized that they faced some major challenges, including:

The complexity of implementing a multi-layered, multi-disciplinary approach to improving the patient discharge process.
Identifying what issues were contributing the most to increased LOS so that they could be addressed.

By implementing analytics and protocols that provide access to actionable data, the LOS reduction team was able to identify patients at high risk for increased LOS so that they could develop and track critical interventions. El Camino’s patient-centered approach to tackling LOS reduction also included multi-disciplinary cooperation, leadership buy-in, and additional resources to enhance discharge care coordination.
This innovative, systematic approach resulted in not only a better than anticipated reduction in ALOS of 7.8 percent, but also:

14.8 percent reduction in readmissions
55 percent reduction in healthcare acquired conditions (HACs)
32 percent reduction in incidence of AHRQ patient safety indicators (PSIs).
$2.2 million projected annual cost savings

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How One Hospital Took the Pain Out of Getting Paid

A hospital’s core mission is to provide the best care possible. To continue to do so, however, hospitals must be paid promptly. Discharged not final billed (DNFB) cases—where bills remain incomplete due to coding or documentation gaps—represent an ongoing challenge for hospitals around the country.
Thibodaux Regional Medical Center, like other hospitals, faces a myriad of new government regulations that have made hospital bill collection efforts more onerous. Its leaders recognized their inadequate manual DNFB process left hospital staff overburdened and put at risk the necessary cash flow to best serve patients.
The hospital automated and streamlined this process to relieve the burden on physicians, provide an integrated view of data, optimize visibility and workflow, and reduce the need to “downcode” reimbursements due to missing documentation. The hospital leveraged analytics to provide actionable feedback to continuously improve the process.
Thibodaux has already achieved significant improvements to cash flow and operational efficiency:

44.4 percent improvement in delinquency rate
8.2 days reduction in A/R days
70.5 percent decrease in the number of billhold accounts outstanding
50 percent decrease in physician portion of DNFB dollars
97 percent improvement in operational efficiency

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A Care Model to Support the Needs of Medically Complex Patients

People with disabilities face daunting challenges in accessing basic healthcare. As a result, they frequently use hospitals and emergency rooms, and are four times as likely to be hospitalized compared to the general population.
 
Allina Health has deployed an effective “primary care medical home” model that gives patients with disabilities the care and support they need outside of the hospital setting. Key strategies of the model include assigning dedicated care coordinators to each patient; strengthening care coordination across the continuum of services; and an analytics platform from Health Catalyst to target opportunities for improvements and savings.
 
Allina’s data-driven efforts to strengthen care of patients with disabilities have made a clear and meaningful impact; most importantly, on patient outcomes. They have achieved: 30% reduction in hospitalizations and 66% reduction in hospitalization days; 79% reduction in 30-day readmissions days; significantly improved access to care; and saved $4.5 million over a one-year period.

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Reduce Readmissions with Predictive Analytics and Process Redesign

With nearly 20 percent of elderly patients released from a hospital being readmitted within 30 days, Allina Health is focused on providing patients optimum care and support post discharge to minimize readmissions. Focusing on 30-day potentially preventable readmissions (PPRs) as its global outcome measurement, Allina Health used key clinical variables to derive the clinical relationships between hospitalizations that determine PPRs. It further built analytic capabilities to identify opportunities for improvement in care management and to test quality improvement ideas.
Allina Health’s multipronged solution included redesigning care management processes, implementing predictive analytics to identify at-risk patients, using analytics to measure the impact of its interventions, and educating patients, families, and clinicians.
These efforts are driving measurable improvements including: 10.3 percent overall reduction in PPRs, 27 percent reduction in PPRs for patients with clinic follow-up within 5 days, and $3.7 million reduction in variable costs due to avoided readmissions.

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Calculating the ROI of Diabetes Care Improvement

Texas Children’s Hospital has dedicated itself not only to successfully improving diabetes mellitus (DM) outcomes, but also to developing a framework for measuring the ROI of its performance improvement efforts. Texas Children’s tackled its DM initiative with a combination of technology investments and new organizational models, including an enterprise data warehouse (EDW) and analytics platform, a clinical care process team model for improving the quality and cost of care, and a diabetic care unit (DCU) staffed by a highly specialized, highly trained group of providers. Health system leaders also worked with the business school at Rice University to develop a model for measuring ROI that focused on easily quantifiable drivers. The results of this effort include substantially improved quality of care for DM patients, an increase in net revenue by a projected $232,000 annually, and an estimated ROI of 53 percent.

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Allina Health’s Dedication to Quality Improvement Delivers On the Triple Aim

Improving clinical outcomes is good for patients and good for health systems. In fact, Allina Health’s focus on data-driven outcomes improvement realized a total financial improvement of $125 million in a single year.
Allina embraced the mandate of achieving the Triple Aim: improving the quality and cost of care, as well as the patient experience. To achieve this goal, Allina’s leaders recognized that they would need to realign their strategies, organizational structures, and management practices. Confident that data would help the health system improve the quality of patient care and reduce costs, they implemented a data-driven performance improvement strategy.
The results are astounding. This strategy has achieved financial improvements for the health system of $100+ million per year, four years running, while also advancing Allina Health’s Triple Aim goals of improved clinical outcomes and a better patient experience through dozens of improvement initiatives.

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How Allina Saved $13 Million By Optimizing LOS

Like most large healthcare systems throughout the country, Allina Health’s financial health improves dramatically by optimizing inpatient care for the patients it serves.
Allina recognized optimizing length of stay (LOS) was one of the key drivers of its inpatient financial performance and developed the technical infrastructure and analytic capabilities to understand LOS performance by the minute and not the day; adjust LOS to account for patient acuity and compare performance to national benchmarks; make LOS data available to clinicians across the organization in near real-time; and estimate the financial impact of LOS opportunities to enable targeted interventions for improvement.
Allina leveraged its enterprise data warehouse (EDW) and analytics platform and optimized LOS, yielding the following results in the first two years of its improvement efforts:

26,000+ inpatient days saved
$13.4 million in direct operating expenses saved
Hospital capacity (bed availability) created for 5,000+ admissions
Avoided adverse patient events and reduced the total cost of care

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Understanding the Market Trends and Business Drivers of a Complex Healthcare Organization

As a Pioneer ACO, Partners HealthCare knew that understanding the healthcare business drivers of hospital volume and other strategic business trends was critical to its success. To increase this understanding, Partners recognized that it needed an advanced population health management analytics application that addressed strategic questions, could be deployed quickly, and would enable users to engage with the application to contribute toward real improvement. By emphasizing strategic questions rather than the technology solution itself, adopting Agile development methodologies, and working with stakeholders to drive adoption, Partners has developed an effective analytics platform that consists of an enterprise data warehouse (EDW) and advanced population health analytics applications. These efforts have resulted in an increase of up to 75 percent in operational efficiency, strategic questions answered up to 10 times faster, and perhaps most importantly, a cultural transformation where data helps drive strategy.

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How Partners HealthCare is Managing Costs in the Emerging At-Risk Environment

In order to thrive in an ever-increasing risk-based contracting environment, accountable care organizations like Partners HealthCare need to deliver high-quality, safe care with minimal risk. Integrated data that reveals cost reduction and care improvement opportunities are necessary to be successful in a risk-based environment, and has historically been fragmented and limited in interoperability in healthcare organizations. To merge, house, and analyze the necessary financial, operational, and clinical data required for risk-based contracting, Partners deployed a late-binding enterprise data warehouse (EDW) and population health management analytics. The EDW and analytics applications are making information accessible to managers as soon as it is released, along with enhanced visualizations that enable data-driven insights. In addition, the analytics application is helping to drive physician awareness and engagement in understanding and managing cost trends.

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How Partners HealthCare is Leveraging Episode-Based Data to Improve Care Delivery

U.S. healthcare is shifting from procedure and visit approaches to a longitudinal view of patient care. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is supporting this change with their “Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Initiative.” Under the initiative, healthcare organizations enter into payments arrangements with financial and performance accountability for 48 episodes of care. This requires health organizations to integrate data from a combination of sources in order to identify the bundles with the highest costs and the sources of variation. Learn how Partners HealthCare, an Integrated Healthcare Delivery System and ACO, successfully integrated hospital, provider, and claims information for the first time—and how they can now easily evaluate and compare clinical and financial performance for the 48 CMS episodes of care.

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Managing Half a Million Risk-Contracted Lives: Partners HealthCare Population Health Strategy

Population health management in a value-based model requires reengineering care delivery to provide higher quality of care at a lower cost. To address this challenge, organizations need to take a system-wide, strategic approach to defining their structures and processes. Learn how Partners Healthcare, an Integrated Healthcare Delivery System and ACO, developed and successfully implemented a strategic framework —guided by strong leadership and meticulous change management—for managing its half a million risk-contracted lives. The framework enables collaboration and aligns providers across the care continuum, using a unified set of performance targets for all contracts. The framework includes a robust analytics system that provides metrics to deliver the best patient care, while meeting the disparate requirements of multiple external contracts. Partners Healthcare has developed an internal performance framework that can serve as a population health management model for health systems throughout the United States.

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How Hospital Financial Transparency Drives Operational and Bottom Line Improvements

In an era of steadily declining operating margins, hospitals are seeking ways to increase their profitability. Learn how one hospital system integrated financial and operational data in near real-time, giving their leaders visibility into how their decisions are impacting the bottom line. Leadership is now making more informed decisions and they are addressing problems as they arise. Budgets are consistently being managed close to target and variances for each cost center are readily explained with drill-down capabilities into the general ledger. A significant manual effort associated with over 1,000 cost center spreadsheets has been eliminated and the organization has saved $12 million in labor savings.

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Effective Healthcare Data Governance: How One Hospital System is Managing its Data Assets to Improve Outcomes

As healthcare invests in analytics to meet the IHI Triple Aim, data has become its most valuable asset—and one of the most challenging to manage. Healthcare organizations must integrate data from a complex array of internal and external sources. To establish a single source of truth, The University of Kansas Hospital deployed an enterprise data warehouse (EDW). However, they quickly realized that without an effective data governance program clinicians and operational leaders would not trust the data. Led by senior leadership commitment, The University of Kansas Hospital established processes to define data, assign data ownership and identify and resolve data quality issues. They also have 70+ standardized enterprise data definition approvals planned for completion in the first year and have created a multi-year data governance roadmap to ensure a sustained focus on data quality and accessibility.

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Effective Practice Management Results in Quality Care for More Patients

Effective practice management can help provide quality patient care, increase revenues— and enhance patient and employee satisfaction. Ineffective practice management may cause patients to seek care elsewhere. As the healthcare industry transitions to value-based care, clinics must align provider scheduling as tightly as possible with patient demand while maintaining a high level of physician and patient satisfaction. Learn how practice managers, clinicians and operational executives are improving practice management, patient access and provider productivity, which has contributed to an estimated $20 million in savings.

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$74M in Healthcare Operational Improvements: How Texas Children’s Hospital Is Delivering on Its Vision

Federal and state funding reductions, along with increased competition, are the latest profitability challenges facing healthcare organizations. Texas Children’s recently faced this challenge head-on when projections indicated they would fall $50 million short of what was needed to build capital reserves and to maintain their bond rating. To improve financial performance and prepare for the future, the leadership team launched a system-wide performance improvement project called “Delivering on the Vision” (DOTV). DOTV would involve increasing accessibility for patients as well as driving healthcare operation savings. Texas Children’s goal, of increasing operating margins over 18 months by achieving $60 million in savings, has been surpassed — realizing $74 million in cost savings to date.

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Improving Healthcare Provider Productivity with Advanced Analytics

Improving provider productivity to enhance access to care and positively impact the bottom line is one of the most important tasks facing healthcare organization today. Historically the approach to evaluating provider productivity was complicated, time-consuming and inconsistent. This left providers struggling to effectively manage in their areas of responsibility. Learn how section chiefs, providers and operational leaders at one healthcare organization now have access to near real-time data, a single source of truth, and national benchmarks that enable them to optimize productivity—which resulted in their ability to see more patients and increase revenue per clinical FTE, contributing $20M in organizational savings.

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Revenue Cycle Management: Analytic Driven Insights and Efficiencies

To run efficiently and use the money they earn to improve the health of a community, healthcare institutions must manage their revenue cycle well. Crystal Run Healthcare, one of the fastest growing multi-specialty group practices in the country, anda physician-led accountable care organization (ACO), is committed to ensuring that the dollars it earns serve its patient population and are not wasted on inefficient processes. To that end, Crystal Run recognized that to minimize manual reporting and make quick, well-informed decisions related to revenue cycle management, they needed to employ analytics. With the implementation of an advanced analytics application, on top of their EDW platform, this ACO now accesses data up to 99% more quickly, has reduced staff time to identify variance root causes by 97%, and is actively identifying financial management improvement opportunities.

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