Avoidable readmissions are a major financial major problem for the healthcare industry, especially for government payers. To tackle this problem, CMS launched the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP). While some hospitals may be able to absorb the financial penalties under HRRP, they still need to track increasingly complex reporting metrics. Most tracking solutions are inadequate for today’s complicated reporting needs. A healthcare enterprise data warehouse and analytics applications, however, are designed to solve the numerous reporting burdens. When used together, they also deliver a robust solution that enables hospitals to track and drive real cost and quality improvement initiatives, all without the need for users to be technical experts.
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What most often restricts IT innovation at a healthcare organization? It’s not limitations of the tools for innovation (the data infrastructure) or the workforce, but the organizational culture of the health system. A culture that’s too focused on past failed initiatives and their consequences won’t identify opportunities that lead to new ideas. They likely have the right parts for a great idea, but aren’t enabling those parts for innovation.
Organizations can build and environment that fosters innovation in healthcare IT by operating with three principles:
- Give teams the freedom to fail.
- Remember the adjacent possible.
- Leverage organizational networks.
Since 2004, the US healthcare system has annually ranked last relative to 10 other developed nations in quality, access, efficiency, equity, and health outcomes. In an effort to improve the quality of care and patient outcomes in the U.S., the Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) launched a series of quality incentive programs designed to generate a shift from volume to value-based reimbursement. The health insurance industry soon followed their lead, and started writing contracts with hospitals in which a percentage of payment was based on performance on selected quality metrics.
Faced with the challenge of reporting on numerous incentive programs with differing expectations, Mission Health leveraged their enterprise data warehouse to aggregate the data needed to track the quality measures. With millions of dollars on the line with one particular payer, Mission developed an analytics application to monitor performance on the metrics in that contract. The application was used to analyze whether performance feedback and workflow changes would lead to improved performance on the metrics, thus ensuring that they would maximize reimbursement, while improving care for patients.
- Achieved 100 percent of all at risk dollars.
- 100 percent of the ambulatory metric targets were exceeded, some by as much as 19 percent.
- All five hospitals exceeded targets for 80 percent or more of their inpatient metrics.
Patients with diabetes are at a high risk for infections and substantial complications, including the risk of death from infections. Further, social determinants in these patients’ communities have a tremendous influence on their health.
Texas Children’s Hospital, ranked as one of the top four Best Children’s Hospitals by U.S. News & World Report, recognized that there were gaps in diabetes care coordination in the community—where the majority of a child’s diabetes management takes place. The hospital initiated a coordinated community response, aided with an analytics platform, which is setting the standard for community management of pediatric diabetes.
- 4 percent relative improvement in the percentage of patients with diabetes who received the influenza vaccine.
- 3 percent relative improvement in pediatric provider diabetes knowledge.
- 90 percent of patients now have individualized school packets developed and available in the EHR.