Overcoming Trying Times Through Data-Driven Improvements

Posted in Feature Articles

The countdown is on for the opening day of one of the most influential health information technology events of the year. The educational programming and networking opportunities of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society’s (HIMSS) Global Health Conference will begin Monday, April 17.

One of the objectives of HIMSS is to help healthcare professionals discover innovative products to solve their greatest challenges. We thought it fitting to highlight a few world-class healthcare organizations that have effectively tackled some of their most pressing issues through data-driven improvements.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, hospitals and health systems have struggled with historically low revenue and volume while facing skyrocketing labor and supply expenses. A recent report from the American Hospital Association highlights how hospital labor expenses have increased per patient by 19.1 percent. Prescription drug expenses have increased by 36.9 percent per patient, and medical supply expenses have grown by 20.6 percent from 2019 to 2021. Rising inflation has further exacerbated the situation, with hospital prices seeing modest growth despite increased costs.

Data-informed healthcare improvements can help health systems weather the storm by advancing care and reducing costs.  The following organizations successfully optimized staff time, increased engagement, and found new ways to improve care while reducing healthcare waste.

Reducing Costs and Supporting Staff

Tech-Enabled Managed Services offer significant cost reduction and staff learning opportunities. Banner Health lowered costs and improved clinical chart abstraction efficiency by leveraging Health Catalyst’s data and analytics platform, automating components of the abstraction efforts, and investing team members’ saved time to support meaningful quality improvement efforts at Banner Health.

At a time when every dollar and every minute of staff labor counts, Banner Health was able to:

  • Avoid $650,000 in abstraction labor costs
  • Save $100,000 in registry costs
  • Experience a 38 percent reduction in case review time
  • Sustain a 46 percent improvement in case of submission accuracy for eCQM reporting
  • Additionally, these improvements supported infection-prevention surveillance efforts and helped improve the team members’ experience, increasing engagement by 30 percent.

Streamlining Operations and Optimizing Processes

Carle Health faced challenges in developing a full scorecard that accurately reflected the performance of all providers and integrated quality in a meaningful way for ongoing professional practice evaluation (OPPE).

The organization harnessed the automation abilities of a data and analytics platform to automate the OPPE process, generating provider-specific scorecards on demand and providing medical directors with performance metrics for each credentialed medical staff member.

This automation significantly reduced manual data collection, aggregation, and reporting, saving 1,700 labor hours. In addition, Carle expanded its OPPE processes to include 400 advanced practice providers and two hospitals—without adding additional resources.

Managing Labor Costs

Hawai’i Pacific Health (HPH) needed to reduce labor management costs while maintaining high-quality outcomes. The organization would flex staffing to fit volume but often based staffing decisions on latent, retrospective data. Using a data and analytics platform, HPH conducted an opportunity analysis, identifying the top 10 areas across four hospitals with the most significant improvement potential.

HPH leveraged the platform and analytics applications to forecast workforce needs and effectively manage staff schedules. As a result, HPH has gained detailed insight into its operations and created interventions to decrease expenses while improving operational efficiency and satisfaction.

The organization improved labor utilization across four pilot facilities in just six months, resulting in substantial savings and operational efficiencies, including $2.2 million in savings over 16 months while maintaining high-quality outcomes.

With on-demand, real-time access to data, managers now spend only 15 minutes proactively managing operations, reducing the administrative burden on managers. Additionally, HPH can now answer fundamental business questions in minutes rather than weeks, allowing managers to identify budget errors before making decisions based on ,inaccurate data.

Trimming Maintenance Costs

A surprising cost to healthcare organizations is the complexity and costs of updating and maintaining custom data integration systems.

INTEGRIS Health developed an internal data warehouse and spent substantial resources building, updating, and maintaining the warehouse; however, operating costs were exorbitantly high. The organization needed a more efficient, scalable data and analytics platform to provide high-quality data and analytics to equip its leaders with the insights necessary to improve continuously.

By implementing the Health Catalyst data analytics platform and an extensive set of analytics applications, INTEGRIS Health was able to reduce the resources required to maintain its data and analytics platform.

Through a reduction of a duplicative data ecosystem and the resources required to maintain a homegrown data and analytics platform, INTEGRIS benefited from $3 million in annual indirect labor cost savings.

With the Health Catalyst data and analytics platform, INTEGRIS Health is equipped with a scalable data and analytics platform that can deliver the high-quality data and analytics required to understand and continually improve.

Collaborating to Achieve Data-Informed Clinical, Cost, and Operational Improvements

The Covid-19 pandemic has put immense pressure on hospitals and healthcare systems, leading to historically low margins and skyrocketing labor, prescription drug, and supply expenses.

Health systems have experienced increasingly significant pressure related to their labor expenses, which comprise well over half of their operating budget. Data and analytics solutions can help optimize staff time, increase engagement, and help direct attention to areas of improvement to facilitate improved health outcomes while cutting costs.

Attending HIMSS and Want to Learn More?

Attending HIMSS and want to learn more about how data-driven solutions can drive meaningful achievements in healthcare? Be sure to visit Health Catalyst at Booth #2812 and the patient engagement 365 pavilion at Kiosk #8300-05.

Visit the Health Catalyst HIMSS site to learn about the opportunities to connect with our team at the show. You can also submit a form to schedule a meeting with a Health Catalyst leader or subject matter expert.

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