Community Hospital

Success Stories

Using Analytics and Technology to Improve the ED Patient Experience

Substantial evidence indicates a correlation between a patient’s experience in a healthcare setting and adherence to medical advice, appropriate use of healthcare services, and clinical outcomes. Many organizations evaluate patient experience using Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) survey scores.
Mission Health’s patient experience survey scores in the emergency department (ED) were significantly lower than desired. Extended wait times negatively impact patient experience and perceptions of quality of care.
To improve the wait-time experience, Mission changed to a quick registration process, implemented patient notifications via text messaging, and began notifying patients of anticipated delays due to volume surges, thus better managing expectations. Text messaging also improved patient privacy, as did remodeling the waiting room to create a private registration area.
In just over a year, Mission’s ED achieved the highest patient experience ratings it had ever received:

Threefold improvement in patient ranking of:

Overall quality of care.
Provider communication.

29 percent relative reduction in time from discharge order to patient discharge.

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Quick Registration Dramatically Reduces Delays in ED Patient Care

Patient registration is an essential step in the emergency department (ED) workflow—it is required to initiate EHR documentation and impacts patient safety. Correctly identifying patients during registration is critical, as caregivers use historical data in the EHR to make treatment decisions.
Mission Health, as part of its ongoing performance improvement work, discovered that its registration process was lengthy—patients were waiting in line for as long as 15 minutes to be checked into the ED to receive treatment.
To improve its registration process, Mission implemented a quick registration process (e.g., asking fewer questions upon patient presentation at the ED) based on frontline staff feedback that, in a little over one year, dramatically reduced delays in ED patient care:

70 percent relative reduction in the time to complete registration, with current performance under one minute.
33 percent relative improvement in time from patient arrival to triage start time.
24 percent relative reduction in median length of stay (LOS) for discharged patients, 15 percent relative reduction for admitted patients, and 42 percent relative reduction in median LOS for behavioral health patients.

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Emergency Department Triage Redesign Dramatically Reduces Wait Times, LOS, and Left Without Being Seen Rates

Overcrowding in the emergency department (ED) has been associated with increased inpatient mortality, increased length of stay (LOS), and increased costs for admitted patients. ED wait times and left without being seen (LWBS) rates—patients who present to the ED but leave before receiving a medical evaluation—are indicators of overcrowding.
Mission Health needed to address overcrowding in its ED. The community hospital system confirmed overcrowding when it determined that approximately 4,000 patients were leaving its ED each year without being seen.
Mission implemented an improvement process to address ED overcrowding. The hospital leveraged its analytics platform to develop an ED analytics application that provided actionable, timely ED performance data to focus improvement efforts on four areas: staffing patterns, registration, triage assessment by the registered nurse (RN), and early access to a qualified medical provider.
Mission achieved significant ED performance improvements:

89 percent relative reduction in LWBS rate, with current performance at 0.4 percent.
85 percent relative reduction in percentage of patients who left before treatment complete, with current performance at 0.58 percent.
75 percent relative reduction in median door to assessment by a qualified provider, with current performance under 15 minutes.

 

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A Data-Driven Systems Approach to Improving Emergency Care

Health systems can directly impact the quality of emergency department (ED) care by reducing the time patients wait between arrival and seeing a qualified medical professional. Long ED wait times can reduce patient satisfaction and put patients at risk.
Mission Health determined that patients in its ED often waited more than 50 minutes to receive qualified medical care. To decrease this wait time, the hospital system sought to improve its ED patient flow. Using data-driven insights provided by use of its analytics platform, Mission could visualize each portion of the ED patient flow, enabling the improvement team to identify and respond to opportunities for process improvement.
Using this strategy, Mission achieved the following:

89 percent relative reduction in the rate of patients who left without being seen (LWBS), resulting in the current performance of 0.4 percent.
29 percent relative reduction in the time from discharge order to ED departure time.
24 percent relative reduction in the median length of stay (LOS) for patients who are discharged.

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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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Mission Health Receives 100 Percent of At-Risk Dollars in Payer Incentive Program

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.
Results:

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.

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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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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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40,000 Covered Lives: Improving Performance on ACO MSSP Metrics

The U.S. healthcare system is the most expensive in the world, but data consistently shows the U.S. underperforming relative to other countries on most dimensions of performance. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS’s) accountable care organization (ACO) model is aimed at addressing that issue by offering financial incentives for providers to improve the health of populations and reduce costs through greater efficiencies and a focus on preventive care.
Mission Health formed a Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) ACO called Mission Health Partners (MHP), which is responsible for 40,000 patient lives. MHP knew that its manual approach to data collection and reporting would not be sufficient for the required ACO quality metrics. By leveraging a previously implemented enterprise data warehouse platform and implementing an ACO MSSP analytics application, MHP was able to automate the processes of data-gathering and analysis and align the data with ACO quality reporting measures. The visibility and transparency of near real-time, online performance data coupled with focused process improvement has resulted in subsequent improvement in all 33 of the ACO performance metrics. Specifically, improvements have included:

9.6 percent increase in compliance over all reported ACO metrics, with 23,000 more patients receiving recommended treatment or screenings.
98.9 percent of eligible patients received screenings for clinical depression and follow up.
40 percent increase in number of patients receiving any cancer screening; 46 percent improvement in the number of patients receiving colorectal cancer screening.
456 percent increase in the number of patients getting fall risk screening.

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Evidence-Based Care Process Model Reduces SSIs and Readmissions

The consequences of poor-quality surgical care are significant for both hospitals and patients. Consider the following: One in four patients having a colon re-section is readmitted within 90 days, costing U.S. healthcare approximately $300 million a year and negatively affecting the lives of tens of thousands of patients and their families.
In 2013, Mission Health, North Carolina’s sixth-largest health system, identified opportunities to improve clinical outcomes for its bowel surgery patients. With a vision of achieving the best outcome for each patient, Mission set goals to reduce length of stay (LOS), decrease readmissions, and reduce surgical site infections (SSIs) for its bowel surgery patients.
Mission recognized that care process models (CPMs) were key to making it easier for clinicians to deliver the best care to patients by doing the right thing consistently. The health system therefore organized a multidisciplinary improvement team charged with developing and implementing an evidence-based CPM for bowel surgery. In support of this effort, Mission leveraged technology and analytics to encourage clinician adoption of the CPM and to deliver performance insights.
Through these efforts, Mission has achieved impressive improvements in bowel surgery care:

92 percent reduction in colorectal surgery SSI rates
28.5 percent reduction in mortality
10.6 percent reduction in 30-day readmissions
4.4 percent reduction in LOS
8.5 percent reduction in cost per case

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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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The Improvement Methodology From Thibodaux That TJC Calls “Best Practice”

Thibodaux Regional Medical Center has always excelled in delivering quality care to its patients, but a fundamental tenet of its culture is continuous improvement.
Driving that continuous improvement is a methodology The Joint Commission called “best practice in how to use data and get physicians engaged.” This quality improvement methodology centers around a three-systems care transformation model that includes best-practice care protocols, analytics, and rapid time-to-value analytics application development and frontline clinician adoption.

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Keys to Successful Quality Improvement: A CEO’s Perspective

We believe healthcare is undergoing a transformation and that CEOs need to promote a culture of dialogue and adaptive learning to drive continuous quality improvement. Thirty years ago Greg Stock, CEO of Thibodaux Regional Medical Center, was seated in a healthcare conference when he heard a presenter say, “Thirty percent of clinical care is waste.” These words triggered something in Stock that sent him down a relentless path to transforming healthcare in his community.
Learn how Stock is leading and sustaining outcomes by establishing a culture of quality with an adaptive leadership style, engaging physicians, and using analytics, best practices and adoption processes that work.

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Saving Lives with Best Practices and Improvements in Sepsis Care

Every year, severe sepsis impacts more than 1 million Americans, and an estimated 25 percent die from the condition. Thibodaux Regional Medical Center is committed to driving and keeping its sepsis mortality rate to less than have the national average. How is this health system achieving these outcomes? Thibodaux formed a sepsis improvement team charged with reducing sepsis mortality and lowering costs while improving the patient experience. The team implemented best-practice care protocols, an analytics system, and an adoption approach that engaged clinicians using education and data. Backed by executive leadership and guided by clear goals, the sepsis improvement initiative has achieved impressive results in just six months that include a decrease in sepsis mortality rate to half of the national average, a 3 percent reduction in average variable cost, a reduction in LOS in the ICU by one day, and a 7 percent improvement in patient satisfaction.

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Standardizing Labor and Delivery Best Practices to Improve Outcomes

Advancing women’s health is a key part of the nation’s healthcare quality improvement and population health management agenda. Mission Health has embarked on a journey to standardize its best practices and develop a more systematic method for collecting and analyzing data related to perinatal care. With an EDW serving as its analytics platform, and a newly implemented clinical improvement model, Mission is able to monitor performance on several evidence-based practices designed to improve maternal and newborn care. Learn how they have sustained a zero elective delivery rate, and how they have reduced the time they spend manually collecting data and calculating rates.

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Sepsis Mortality and Length of Stay: One Hospital System’s Story

Sepsis, a serious complication that strikes quickly and is often fatal, is the single most expensive condition to treat in the hospital, in part because of the longer than average stay. To reduce sepsis mortality rates, which are between 20 and 50 percent, many hospitals have established evidence based bundles comprised of antibiotic administration, lactate level monitoring and other elements of care. However, without analytics, hospitals rely on manual processes to track sepsis rates and bundle compliance. Learn how Mission Health has streamlined surveillance by 75% while experiencing a 2.6% reduction in sepsis mortality rates and an 18% reduction in length of hospital stay.

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Operating Room Excellence: How One Hospital System is Driving Improvements with the Use of Advanced Analytics

Mission Health in North Carolina has always been dedicated to expanding access to care. To preserve this commitment in an era of declining reimbursement rates, Mission needed better access to data for quick and flexible decision-making. As at most hospitals, operating rooms are Mission’s biggest revenue generator, but they also represent a significant cost center. So, leveraging their new analytics capabilities to drive operational improvements across their system of operating rooms was a strategic opportunity. Mission now has improved ability to drive care and operational improvements with integrated data and analytic tools like their OR Dashboard—resulting in dramatic improvements including a 20% increase in first-case on-time surgical starts.

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