Length of stay (LOS) is an essential indicator of hospital operational efficiency. Albany Med compared its performance with benchmark data and determined that it could improve inpatient LOS. By convening a multidisciplinary team of providers committed to decreasing hospital LOS and leveraging its data and analytics platform, Albany Med was able to uncover underlying issues causing unnecessary extended hospital stays and substantially reduce LOS.
Length of Stay
Actionable Analytics Enables Improved Care, Reduced LOS, and Costs in Patients with Traumatic Brain Injury
To provide high-quality, cost-effective care to patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI), Mission Health needed insight into individual patient and provider performance data. Without access to accurate data, Mission couldn’t accurately pinpoint patient outliers, understand causes of TBI, and identify opportunities to improve TBI patient care. By utilizing its data platform and analytics accelerators, Mission was able to utilize patient data to identify patients suffering from TBI.
To leverage data from its trauma registry database to improve patient outcomes, Mission Health utilized its data platform and analytics, providing real-time access to data and a more comprehensive understanding of each trauma case. With an analytics-driven approach, Mission reduced emergency department (ED) length of stay (LOS) for patients with Level II trauma activation across its populations.
Emergency departments (ED) provide care for a staggering 145 million patients a year. Improving throughput times remains a top priority for hospitals as overcrowding and long wait times can lead to potential safety events and dissatisfaction with care. To improve ED throughput, Orlando Regional Medical Center (ORMC) assembled an improvement team to analyze the problem, utilizing data analytics and staff feedback to help identify a series of workflow changes designed to improve ED throughput and improve care delivery.
Chronic knee and back pain associated with morbid obesity increases the risk for opioid dependence among patients undergoing bariatric surgery. Mission Health sought a comprehensive, data-driven, evidence-based approach to reduce opioid prescribing after bariatric surgery, decreasing the risk for misuse and harm. By using comprehensive ERAS protocols with multimodal pain management interventions, Mission realized substantial reductions in opioid use for pain management among patients undergoing bariatric surgery, including a:
Learn how Mission Health used data and analytics to gain a comprehensive view of sepsis outcomes so that improvement efforts that help clinicians identify and provide early intervention for patients who may be septic could be effectively implemented and sustained.
In the U.S., over 1.5 million people are treated for sepsis annually, and one in four people with sepsis die. Read how Allina Health utilized its analytics platform to identify opportunities for improvement and develop evidence-based processes for sepsis identification and treatment.
Read how Memorial Hospital at Gulfport embraced the challenge of reducing LOS to lower costs and improve outcomes for its patients. Its commitment to a data-driven, multi-pronged approach to reducing LOS has produced impressive results in one year.
Every year, almost 51,000 patients die from pneumonia with pneumonia ranking as the fourth leading cause of death for the elderly. After implementing a pneumonia care pathway and analytics application, Piedmont Healthcare reduced its pneumonia mortality rate.
Contemporary colorectal surgery is often associated with long LOS, high costs, and surgical site infections (SSI) approaching 20 percent. Much of the LOS variation is not attributable to patient illness or complications, but most likely represents differences in practice style. Successfully reducing SSI requires a multimodal strategy under the supervision of numerous providers with high compliance across the spectrum.
Allina Health was using established, evidence-based clinical guidelines, yet clinical variation remained high across pre-arrival, preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative care areas, leading to substantial variation in LOS, cost of care, and the patient experience. To ensure greater consistency, Allina Health developed an enhanced recovery program (ERP) for patients undergoing elective colorectal surgery, which built standard protocols into the EHR to address elements of care from pre-arrival through post-discharge.
To facilitate the program and monitor performance, Allina Health developed an ERP analytics application with an administrative dashboard to easily visualize first-year results:
78 percent relative reduction in elective colorectal SSI rate.
19 percent relative reduction in LOS for patients with elective colorectal surgery.
82.4 percent utilization of preoperative and postoperative order sets, increasing the consistency of care and reducing unwarranted variation.
Total Hip (THA) and Total Knee (TKA) Arthroplasty are the most prevalent surgeries for Medicare patients, numbering over 400,000 cases in 2014, costing more than seven billion dollars annually for the hospitalization alone. Today, more than seven million Americans have hip or knee implants, and the number is rising. Furthermore, substantial variation in the cost per case has raised questions about the quality of care. At Thibodaux Regional Medical Center, total joint replacement for hips and knees emerged as one of the top two cost-driving clinical areas with variation in care processes.
To address this, Thibodaux Regional maintained its focus on the IHI Triple Aim while developing organizational and clinical strategies to transform the care of patients undergoing THA and TKA. It commissioned a Care Transformation Orthopedic Team that set multiple outcome goals. Among its many efforts, the team established standard care processes, created an educational program, redesigned order sets and workflows, and deployed a joint replacement analytics application.
Thibodaux Regional reduced variability and decreased costs significantly while maintaining high levels of patient satisfaction:
76.5 percent relative reduction in complication rate for total hip and total knee replacement.
38.5 percent relative reduction in LOS for patients with total hip replacements.
23.3 percent relative reduction in LOS for patients with total knee replacement.
$815,103 cost savings, achieved in less than two years.
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.
29 percent relative reduction in time from discharge order to patient discharge.
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.
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.
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.
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.
19 percent reduction in readmission rates.
22 percent reduction in length of stay.
85 percent reduction in infections related to colorectal surgery.
Healthcare organizations are among the most complex forms of human organization ever attempted to be managed, making transformation a daunting task. Despite the challenges associated with change, Texas Children’s Hospital identified that it needed to evolve into a data-driven outcomes improvement organization.
Texas Children’s embarked on a journey to transform care, building a three-systems approach—analytics, best practice, and adoption—designed to develop a data-driven quality improvement organization that could achieve outcomes improvement expediently and at scale across the entire organization. Texas Children’s leadership knew that the foundation for clinical systems integration would be meaningful, actionable data. That realization prompted the organization to implement the Health Catalyst Analytics Platform including a Late-Binding™ Data Warehouse (EDW) and a broad suite of analytics applications.
After deploying the analytics platform supported by multidisciplinary quality improvement teams, Texas Children’s was able to improve patient outcomes related to the following:
35 percent relative decrease in hospital-acquired conditions (HACs).
44 percent relative decrease in LOS for patients with Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).
30.9 percent relative reduction in recurrent DKA admissions per fiscal year.
Texas Children’s Hospital is improving the care delivery of its patients with diabetes, one of the most common diseases in school-aged children. How? Powered by dedicated improvement teams and analytics, they have focused on order utilization, timeliness of IV and subcutaneous insulin administration, length of stay (LOS), establishing a diabetic care unit (DCU), educating core diabetic nurses (CDNs), frontline staff adoption, and more.
Care delivery improvements include the following:
94 percent of patients with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) are assigned to diabetic care unit.
17 percent relative increase in patients with DKA receiving an evidence-based evaluation and order sets.
19 percent relative increase in patients with DKA receiving IV insulin within one hour of order.
50 percentage point improvement in the percentage of patients transitioning to SubQ insulin in less than four hours after medical readiness.
44 percent relative decrease in LOS for patients with DKA.
Diabetes is the most common chronic illness for children living in developed countries. Leaders at Texas Children’s Hospital wanted to take a more data-driven approach to population health management for children with diabetes. They created a Care Process Team (CPT) to pursue outcomes improvements related to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) since data from the EDW revealed that 64% of diabetes patients discharged had this life-threatening condition.
After the CPT achieved their initial goal of improving care for patients admitted to the hospital with DKA, they set out to implement larger improvements that would benefit the entire population of diabetes patients.
By empowering CPT members, leveraging data to drive decisions, and implementing new interventions effectively, the Diabetes CPT members have improved population health for patients with diabetes across all settings of care. Below are a few of the most significant results.
44 percent relative decrease in LOS for patients with DKA.
30.9 percent relative reduction in recurrent DKA admissions per fiscal year.
34.4 percent relative improvement in the percentage of patients with diabetes who receive the influenza vaccine.
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.
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.
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
Up to 50 percent of all hospital deaths in the United States are linked to sepsis. That sepsis mortality statistic was not lost on Piedmont Healthcare, a system of six hospitals and more than 100 physician and specialist offices across greater Atlanta and North Georgia. Sepsis accounted for half of Piedmont’s mortality rate, despite years of progress in sepsis care.
Piedmont leaders recognized that they needed an innovative quality improvement methodology to spread best practices and sustain improvement, supported by an accessible source of timely, reliable, and actionable information. They therefore implemented a “core and spread” team structure to promote enterprise-wide adoption of best practices. The health system also deployed a sepsis prevention analytics application to deliver performance insight to all levels of the organization, and discovered a high correlation between better patient and financial outcomes and the number of bundle elements the patient received. Being able to tie outcomes to interventions, along with the incorporation of nurse driven protocols, resulted in sustained practice change and greater engagement from physicians, nursing and frontline staff, all the way to the Board level.
As a result, Piedmont achieved the following impressive outcomes:
5.8 percent reduction in mortality for all patients with severe sepsis and septic shock, translating to 26 lives saved in one year.
2.5 percent reduction in total inpatient length of stay (LOS).
8.2 percent reduction in variable cost per case, equating to $4.3 million saved in one year.
A stay in the intensive care unit (ICU) is both costly and risky. In a sobering example of the latter, nearly one third of patients admitted to the ICU experience delirium, a state of cognitive impairment that can increase risk of death in the hospital. Still, many cardiovascular patients need intensive care that can only be provided safely in an intensive care unit, requiring hospitals to assure enough beds and skilled ICU staff for these patients—while quickly identifying which patients can receive care as good or better in another unit.
Allina Health has achieved this dual objective with a concerted ICU avoidance strategy for specific complex sub-populations of cardiovascular (CV) patients. The foundation of this strategy is risk-informed decisions about which patients can avoid the ICU; clinical staff education; and an analytics platform and enterprise data warehouse (EDW) from Health Catalyst that enables CV care leaders to monitor safety metrics for those patients who avoid a stay in the ICU. So far, Allina Health’s efforts have resulted in the following achievements:
636 additional ICU days made available for more critically ill patients by employing ICU avoidance strategies
One-day reduction length of stay (LOS) for Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) patients
$589,000 cumulative cost savings
Post Operative Atrial Fibrillation occurs in up to 30 percent of all patients after cardiac surgery. This serious complication increases the length of the patient’s hospital stay, and is associated with a twofold increase in the incidence of cerebral infarction and an increased risk of 30-day mortality. Timely and consistent management of Post Op Afib can prevent significant complications and help prevent death. To standardize such an approach to managing Post Op Afib, Allina Health’s Minneapolis Heart Institute created a physician committee to raise consensus on and develop a protocol for Post Op Afib management.
The committee ultimately created a nurse-driven protocol and decision support algorithm linked to the health system’s electronic health record (EHR). Additionally, it uses analytics, supported by Health Catalyst’s Late-Binding™ Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW), to track physician ordering rate, patient outcomes, and cost. This combination of people, processes, and analytics tools has made a significant difference for Allina and its patients.
Two-day reduction in ICU LOS.
5.9 percentage point reduction in ICU readmission rate.
$1.5 million savings.
Percutaneous Cardiac Intervention (PCI) is a minimally-invasive alternative to open heart surgery—a procedure that approximately 600,000 U.S. patients will undergo this year.
Allina Health, a non-profit health system with 90+ clinics and 13 hospitals with locations throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin, is a leading provider of the procedure in Minnesota. Allina Health discovered that major bleeding events following PCI procedures (the most common non cardiac complication of PCI), though not affecting mortality, were increasing length of stay (LOS) and cost.
To improve the quality of its PCI procedures and decrease costs, Allina Health recognized the need to accurately assess bleeding risk and then implemented best-practice interventions to prevent major bleeding events.
Already, physicians and patients have seen that these new interventions, which includes a bleeding risk assessment tool, allows clinicians to focus interventions based on risk and reduce complications. The top results from Allina Health’s interventions include:
5.3 percentage point reduction (a 21.7 percent relative reduction) in complication rate.
$1.8M cost savings.
1.4 percentage point reduction (a 36.5 percent relative reduction) in LOS for patients at high risk for bleeding who receive a closure device.