Readiness Assessment Crucial First Step in Building an Outcomes Improvement Focused Organization

Healthcare organizations need to be cognizant of their readiness for change, enabling them to create a plan that will enhance the organization’s ability to successfully drive change. While many studies have been completed on the importance of organizational readiness in non-healthcare organizations, there is little research and relatively few,  measurement tools focused specifically on healthcare organizations.

To cement the Pulse Heart Institute (Pulse Heart) as a destination for adult heart health, and ensure its long-term success, Pulse Heart required a better understanding of its readiness to drive and sustain outcomes improvements—which it found through an onsite assessment that leveraged the Health Catalyst® Outcomes Improvement Readiness Assessment (OIRA) framework. Using the assessment findings and subsequent recommendations, Pulse Heart successfully developed, and continues to develop, the findings to guide workplans to improve competencies and enable the organization for long-term outcomes improvements success.

Based on the results of the onsite readiness assessment they have identified and implemented interventions to improve readiness for change in each of the five major OIRA Tool categories:

  • Leadership, culture, and governance
  • Analytics
  • Best practices
  • Adoption
  • Financial Alignment
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Labor and Delivery Transformations Lower Costs and Improve Care

One in three women delivers via cesarean in the U.S., and more than 90 percent of them have repeat operations in subsequent deliveries. Despite numerous evidence-based guidelines and established best practices for labor and delivery, clinical care varies widely for many practices. Labor and delivery care varied at Thibodaux Regional Medical Center, causing the organization to look for ways to standardize care.

To better understand variations in care, and opportunities to reduce its cost, the labor and delivery care transformation team at Thibodaux Regional used the Health Catalyst Labor and Delivery Advanced Application as well as the Financial Management Explorer application, which integrates data from billing and costing, and creates snapshots of current financial metrics.

Informing and educating providers with provider-specific data in conjunction with redesigned workflow, standardized supplies, and new, standardized protocols enabled the labor and delivery care transformation team at Thibodaux Regional to experience cost savings and improved outcomes, including:

  • 24.4 percent relative reduction in the cost of care for uncomplicated vaginal delivery. Projected annual cost savings of $266,067.
  • 22 percent relative reduction in the cost of care for cesarean deliveries. Projected annual cost savings of $346,856.
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Standardized Best Practices Improve Elective Colon Surgery Outcomes

Nationally, readmission within 90 days after colorectal surgery occurs in about one in four patients, at a cost of approximately $9,000 per readmission. Committed to improving its clinical and financial outcomes, MultiCare, an integrated healthcare delivery system in the Pacific Northwest, decided to focus an improvement effort on elective colorectal surgery when it recognized that patient population had a high opportunity for improvement in both clinical outcomes and cost.

Effectively using its existing quality improvement methodology and Collaborative structure, MultiCare leveraged the work of the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) Society and identified and implemented standardized best practice care routines and interventions that would benefit this population. By using the information in the Enterprise Data Warehouse and analytics applications to monitor clinical outcomes and compliance, and leveraging technology in the EHR to provide decision support and order sets at the point of care, MultiCare was able to significantly improve the clinical outcomes for these patients.

Results:

  • 19 percent reduction in readmission rates.
  • 22 percent reduction in length of stay.
  • 85 percent reduction in infections related to colorectal surgery.
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Clinical Data Abstraction as a Service Improves Accuracy and Efficiency

Allina Health needed to ensure the data it reported to regulatory agencies was timely and accurate. The integrated health system sees 100,000 inpatient hospital admissions annually, 340,000 emergency care visits, and 6,000 physicians and 1,600 nurses providing and documenting care. Due to the sheer volume of patients and employees, clinical data abstraction at Allina Health is not a small undertaking.

Looking to stay compliant while reducing resource utilization, Allina Health sought to change its workflow procedures for faster, more accurate clinical data abstraction. A large amount of clinical data required for compliance with CMS performance measures and Joint Commission Core Measure resides in unstructured data, such as narrative notes, which require manual data abstraction. With the help of data analytics, Allina Health was able to develop evidence-based standardized processes for clinical reporting and automate some clinical data abstraction.

Results:

  • 76 percent relative improvement in time to data availability at each site. Data is typically available within 14 days of discharge, far exceeding the 30-day target.
  • 95.5 percent accuracy for CMS validation.
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Denial Managements Improvement Effort Produces $14.99M Reduction in Denials

At MultiCare Health System, the processes for denial management were not as effective as they could be, negatively impacting net patient revenue and financial performance through millions of dollars in adjustments. While only two-thirds of denials are recoverable, nearly 90 percent are preventable. MultiCare looked at improving denial management as an opportunity to improve appropriate revenue capture for services provided. Through targeted improvement efforts that included standardized workflows and increased data visibility, the health system is improving the root cause of denials.

Results:

  • $14.99M reduction in denials and avoidable write-offs.
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Improving the Transparency of Physician Compensation in Value-Based Care

Healthcare reimbursement continues to shift away from fee-for-service reimbursement models to value-based, risk-sharing agreements. This shift has resulted in organizations revising compensation strategies to engage physicians in value-based compensation arrangements. An effective value-based physician compensation plan is critically important, particularly in competitive environments where organizations must optimize the ability to recruit and retain highly skilled providers. One commonly used physician compensation approach includes a base salary and productivity incentives, coupled with additional compensation opportunities for achieving quality and service goals. The physician compensation package at John Muir Health is not only competitive, it is also complex, but the support process was burdensome, inefficient, and lacked transparency.

John Muir Health developed a plan to leverage the Health Catalyst® Analytics Platform, including the Late-Binding™ Data Warehouse and broad suite of analytics applications, to develop an automated process for physician compensation. The plan created efficiencies in time and effort across multiple domains and produced software to automate future work. The benefits included:

  • Saving 1,560 hours of time required to produce the data necessary to calculate physician compensation.
  • Successfully integrating more than ten different compensation models and 20 different data elements for more than 300 different providers into the physician compensation analytic application, automating the process.
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How Allina Engaged Clinicians and Analytics to Improve Influenza Vaccination Rate

Influenza, a contagious respiratory illness spread by droplets, can lead to hospitalization and even death. Millions of people get influenza each year, hundreds of thousands are hospitalized, and thousands to tens of thousands die from influenza related causes each year. The key to preventing a devastating outbreak is vaccinating enough people that an outbreak is unlikely.

When Allina Health identified that its own rates for influenza vaccination were lower than desired, the health system studied data gleaned from its EHR and an Analytics Platform from Health Catalyst, which includes a Late-Binding™ Enterprise Data Warehouse and broad suite of analytics applications, to understand its true current vaccination performance. The data revealed that changes were in order, which Allina put in place through clinician feedback, engagement, and education.

Results:

  • 4.8 percentage point improvement in influenza vaccination rate, exceeding the Healthy People 2020 goals for vaccination.
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Combatting Opioid Abuse with Data-Driven Prescription Reduction

Each day, 91 Americans die from an opioid overdose. Historically, illegal opioids, such as heroin, were the primary contributing factor to overdoses. Today, it is well understood that a driving force for opioid abuse is prescriptions, which contribute significantly to the overdose epidemic.

Following a series of adverse outcomes related to opioid misuse within the community, Allina Health sought to evaluate how it managed acute non-cancer pain in the outpatient setting, particularly among opioid-naïve patients. By leveraging the Health Catalyst Analytics Platform, including the Late-Binding™ Data Warehouse and broad suite of analytics applications, Allina Health obtained data on prescribing patterns and identified several opportunities to reduce the number of opioids prescribed.

Results:

  • 980,527 fewer opioid pills prescribed in the outpatient setting in 2016, a 12 percent relative reduction.
  • 1,079 fewer patients (with acute or chronic pain) receiving eight or more opioid pill prescriptions over 12 months, a 10.3 percent relative reduction.
  • 13,391 fewer patients receiving opioid prescriptions for more than 20 pills, a 13 percent relative reduction.
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Successfully Sustaining Sepsis Outcomes

Increasingly, high-functioning healthcare organizations are recognizing the challenge of sustaining results following successful clinical improvement initiatives. Sepsis is a major driver of mortality in the U.S. In fact, it is estimated that up to half of all hospital deaths are linked to sepsis. After executing a successful strategy to improve outcomes for patients with sepsis, Piedmont Healthcare was determined to sustain those critical reductions in mortality, length of stay, and cost.

The health system “hardwired” process changes into the EHR, monitored performance compliance via a well-developed analytics application, and fostered strong leadership on the frontlines to champion a culture of continuous improvement. In the second year of its latest sepsis improvement effort, Piedmont was able to not only sustain, but also to further improve upon its first-year improvement results.

Second-year results:

  • 14.2 percent reduction in mortality for severe sepsis and septic shock translating to 68 lives saved in one year.
  • 30.7 percent improvement in number of patients receiving calculated fluid target.
  • $1.2 million saved in one year from decreased variable cost.
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Enhancing Mental Health Care Transitions Reduces Unnecessary Costly Readmissions

Nationally, hospitalization for persons with mental health disorders has increased faster than hospitalization for any other condition. Of concern is the lack of bed space to intake these patients on a timely basis. In Minnesota, for example, more than 50 percent of available state psychiatric beds were closed between 2005 and 2010. Furthermore, readmission rates for patients with mood disorders is higher than any other mental health condition, with 15 percent readmitted within 30 days of hospital discharge and up to 22.4 percent of patients with schizophrenia being readmitted. While the average cost of a readmission in the U.S. is approximately $7,200, of greater concern is hospital readmission represents poor patient outcomes related to lack of adequate access to community mental health resources and challenges with adherence to care plans needed to prevent chronic relapse.

In response to these challenges, Allina Health put a new care transition process in place, redesigned workflow, and added key patient support roles. To measure the effectiveness of new interventions, Allina relied on the Health Catalyst Analytics Platform, which includes the Late-Binding™ Enterprise Data Warehouse and a broad suite of analytics applications.

Results:

  • 27 percent relative reduction in potentially preventable readmission rate.
  • 80 percent patient retention rate in established outpatient mental health services.
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