Quality & Process Improvements

Success Stories

Health Catalyst

Quality as Strategy Transforms Care

Wasteful spending in healthcare now exceeds $1 trillion annually, which is double the money required to fund Medicare each year. Allina Health, a non-profit healthcare system, embraced a vision of the future where 100 percent of healthcare services add value, and everyone has access to quality, compassionate care.
Allina Health president and chief executive officer Dr. Penny Wheeler recognized the critical importance of data and analytics to measure and track performance. To meet those needs, the organization leveraged its analytics platform, using the integrated clinical, financial, and operational data to enable, measure, and scale data-driven improvement initiatives. With input from users, the analytics platform delivers ready access to the data and information providers and operational leaders need to improve and sustain outcomes.
Since undergoing this healthcare quality improvement initiative, select results include:

Improved care for spine patients.

31 percent of complications avoided.
22 percent relative reduction in SSIs.
$1 million VMP incentives received and over $2 million additional cost savings.

Enhanced recovery program elective colorectal surgery improvements.

78 percent relative reduction in elective colorectal systemwide surgical site infections.
19 percent relative reduction in systemwide length of stay, saving $90K in just six months.

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Gaining a Competitive Advantage with an Advanced Analytics Team

The ability to effectively use data for strategic decision making is imperative for healthcare organizations in this era of increasing at-risk payment models and stiff competition. Yet, healthcare still lags behind most other sectors when it comes to the acquisition, storage, and analysis of data.
The University of Kansas Health System is a large academic medical system with more than 80 locations operating in two states, 999 licensed beds, and over 700 employed physicians. Recognizing the need to more effectively utilize data and analytics to help answer important strategic questions, the health system commissioned an advanced analytics team to help unleash the data capabilities needed to have a competitive edge.
Results:

In two short months, the team demonstrated its value, and the success of the pilot in answering important strategic questions which led to making the applied analytics team a permanent part of the new performance improvement department.
The implementation of an advanced analytics team enabled the health system to unleash its data, to probe and answer previously elusive key strategic questions, resulting in new clinical, operational, and financial insights and actionable knowledge the organization can immediately apply to improve its effectiveness.

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Boosting Readiness and Change Competencies Key to Successfully Reducing Clinical Variation

Reducing unnecessary clinical variation is necessary in today’s healthcare market for both clinical and financial reasons. Two major drivers for this are the shift from fee-for-service to value-based reimbursement and the need for improving clinical outcomes such as reducing complications and readmissions.
Leaders for UnityPoint Health, a healthcare system serving Iowa, western Illinois, and southern Wisconsin, recognized the importance of reducing clinical variation, and the need to have strong physician champions and robust analytics to effectively support improvement efforts. However, it also realized that without understanding organizational strengths and weaknesses related to adopting change and improving outcomes, it would struggle to successfully implement initiatives that delivered the desired benefits and sustained improvements over time. By consistently integrating information from a readiness assessment, an opportunity analysis, and expert resources, UnityPoint Health was able to establish a prioritization and implementation approach to outcomes improvement that has produced the following results:

Variable costs were reduced by more than $1.75 million based on the deployment of interventions in sepsis alerts, order sets, and other clinical decision support tools.
Reductions in length of stay have allowed patients to return home earlier and spend more than 1,000 additional nights in their homes.
Millions of clicks have been reduced for clinicians based on deployment of new sepsis screening tools.
36 percent increase in sepsis screenings completed in the emergency department (ED).
Sepsis order set utilization in the ED has increased by more than 185 percent.

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New Generation Activity-Based Costing Accelerates Timeliness of Decision Support

In healthcare, the timely delivery of patient-activity level cost metrics to clinical, financial, and operational leaders is critical; it allows the organization to respond to internal and external shifts and challenges to positively impact financial performance without negatively impacting patient care and the patient experience.
UPMC determined that the amount of manual effort needed to overcome the deficits of a suboptimal technical infrastructure and database supporting its cost management system drove many of the delays built into its closing process. After exploring the options to enhance and commercialize its cost management intellectual property, UPMC partnered with Health Catalyst to use the Health Catalyst® Data Operating System (DOS™) to co-develop and commercialize the CORUS™ suite activity-based costing module.
The new, analytics-driven cost management system supported a 50 percent reduction in the time needed to complete month-end close:

Three-day reduction in time to close.
Monthly preliminary results are typically reviewed within one business day, affording more time for validation and analysis.
Executives receive financial data up to three days sooner.
Reduction of 3.5 FTEs needed to complete the monthly close.
Reduced 60 human touchpoints and opportunity for error.
Multiple months of data can now be run simultaneously.
Provided support for new data-driven governance structure.

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Systematic, Data-Driven Approach Lowers Length of Stay and Improves Care Coordination

Improving and reducing length of stay (LOS) improves financial, operational, and clinical outcomes by decreasing the cost of care for a patient. It can also improve outcomes by minimizing the risk of hospital-acquired conditions.
Faced with declining revenue related to changes in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, Memorial Hospital at Gulfport knew additional methods of providing more efficient and cost-effective quality care were needed to maintain long-term success. The organization embraced the challenge of reducing LOS to lower costs and lessen risk for its patients. By adopting a systematic, data-driven, and multi-pronged approach, Memorial has achieved significant results in one year including:

$2 million in cost savings, the result of decreased LOS and decreased utilization of supplies and medications.
47-day percentage point reduction in LOS.

Improved care coordination and physician engagement have successfully reduced LOS.
The 30-day readmission rate has remained stable.

Three percent increase in the number of discharges occurring on the weekend.

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Readiness Assessment Key to Sustainable Outcomes Improvement

Experiencing pockets of success is not enough to prosper during the transformation to value-based care. Leaders at UnityPoint Health, a healthcare system serving Iowa, western Illinois, and southern Wisconsin, determined that outcomes improvements needed to be sustained and spread easily across the organization to best utilize resources and serve its patients.
UnityPoint Health required an objective way to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the organization relative to outcomes improvement and its readiness for change. To this end, it chose the Health Catalyst® Outcomes Improvement Readiness Assessment (OIRA) Tool and professional services to administer it and identify the competency levels in the organization in the five areas known to influence an organization’s readiness for change. This resulted in:

Competency for improving outcomes measured at the organization, department and role level.
Recommendations made for increasing competency levels across the organization.
Clear direction and focus obtained from opportunity analysis.

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Reducing Opioid Availability with Improved Prescribing Practices

Historical approaches to the use of opioids in pain management have been associated with overprescribing and have inadvertently contributed to the opioid abuse crisis. Optimizing the use of opioids can help reduce the number of excess pills circulating in the community.
Allina Health, a not-for-profit health system serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin, achieved previous success in reducing opioid prescriptions in outpatient settings through the adoption of standard practices. Though Allina Health had initial success with its opioid prescription reduction efforts, providers still lacked visibility into prescribing practices, leading to variability that made further sustainable improvements challenging. With the help of analytics, Allina Health leveraged its data to develop prescription standards aimed at reducing the oversupply of opioids in the community, while still effectively managing patients’ acute pain after procedures.
Results:

15,730 fewer opioid pills prescribed at discharge in one year.
16 percent relative reduction in the number of opioid pills prescribed per patient.
95 percent of patients that delivered a baby via cesarean section and received opioids at discharge received fewer than 30 opioid pills.

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Analytics Drive Lean Processes to Lower Healthcare-associated Infections

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) remain one of the greatest risks patients face while hospitalized. Each day, about one in 25 hospital patients has at least one HAI—with an estimated 722,000 HAIs in U.S. acute care hospitals annually. Approximately 75,000 of the patients with HAIs died during their hospitalization.
The University of Kansas Health System, a large academic medical system with more than 80 locations across two states, experienced organizational central-line associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) and catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) rates that were higher than desired. A lack of consistent uniform evidence-based maintenance of indwelling urinary catheters and central lines led to unintended care variations, which is a challenge to large healthcare organizations.
Developing a reliable system for preventing CAUTI and CLABSI that produced consistent and accurate results would assist The University of Kansas Health System in HAI prevention. To create this solution, the health system chose to implement lean management for addressing both technical and adaptive work, applying data and analytics from its analytics platform to make improvements driven by lean methodologies. These efforts were initiated within a model cell unit resulting in:

Only one CAUTI in 1,861 days. Zero CAUTI in 747 days.
Only one CLABSI in 824 days. Zero CLABSI in 332 days.
95th percentile patient satisfaction ranking.

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Improving Screening for Lung Cancer Enables Early Detection

With one of every four deaths in the U.S. being attributed to cancer, it is the second leading cause of death, surpassed only by heart disease. There are more deaths from lung cancer than from any other type of cancer accounting for more than 155,000 deaths annually.
While new lung cancer screening guidelines were available, few providers were compliant with the guidelines, or fully understood the complex reimbursement requirements, particularly the patient characteristics that qualify a patient to be eligible for low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) screening and the documentation required for reimbursement.
Mission Health, based in Asheville, North Carolina, is the state’s sixth largest health system with six hospitals and numerous outpatient and surgery centers. The organization wanted to increase the number of patients screened for lung cancer to catch the disease at an earlier, more treatable phase. Mission established a care process model improvement team, enhanced its screening program, and utilized its analytics platform to extract and integrate data from various source systems to evaluate the impact of LDCT screening and outcomes for its patients. Results from the enhanced program include:

71 percent relative increase in LDCT screening for people at increased risk for lung cancer.
56 people with lung cancer identified through early screening.
4.3 percent relative increase in people being diagnosed at early stage I or II lung cancer.
21.2 percent relative reduction in people diagnosed with late stage III or IV lung cancer.

 

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Artificial Intelligence Improves Accuracy of Heart Failure Readmission Risk Predictions

A global pandemic, heart failure (HF) affects at least 26 million people worldwide, and its prevalence only continues to increase. Within the U.S. alone, 5.7 million adults live with HF, carrying a cost of nearly $30.7 billion each year. At 55 percent, HF represents the most common cause of Medicare readmissions, and HF accounts for 42 percent of total admissions for Medicare patients.
Readmissions for HF carry a heavy cost for patients and health systems, in addition to reimbursement penalties from CMS. This makes properly assessing the risk for readmission for patients with HF a top priority. MultiCare Health System leveraged artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve the accuracy of readmission risk predictions for patients with HF. Providing a more accurate risk score in a timely fashion gives care teams more time to intervene effectively and prevent avoidable readmissions.
Results: 

85 percent estimated accuracy for heart failure readmission risk predictor. (LACE accuracy around 62 percent)
Three-fold increase in the number of HF readmission risk-predictions made each day.

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Improving Transitions of Care for Patients with Pneumonia

Nationally, the readmission rate for patients over age 65 with pneumonia is 15.8 percent. Though not all hospital readmissions are preventable, high readmission rates may reflect performance on care quality, effectiveness of discharge instructions, and smooth transitioning of patients to their home or other setting.
Piedmont Healthcare wanted to standardize pneumonia care across its entire system but lacked the data it needed to identify patients who could benefit from additional transition support. Piedmont convened a care management steering committee and deployed analytics tools to generate actionable data for appropriate and effective transitions of care for its Medicare patients with pneumonia. In less than one year, it reduced its readmission rate for patients with pneumonia by 26 percent.

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Standard Approach to Early Induction of Labor Successfully Reduces Unnecessary Cesarean Deliveries

In the U.S., nearly one in three women give birth via cesarean delivery. Rates vary widely by state, ranging from a low of 23 percent to a high of nearly 40 percent. Despite the potential life-saving benefits of a cesarean, this large variation suggests that unnecessary cesarean deliveries are frequently performed and that potentially modifiable factors, such as patient preferences and practice variation among hospitals, systems, and healthcare providers, likely contribute to the high rate.
Gunnison Valley Hospital has a long history of safe obstetric care, delivering more than 150 babies annually, yet the rates of elective early induction (prior to 39 weeks gestation), primary cesarean, and Nulliparous, Term, Singleton, Vertex (NTSV) were somewhat higher than desired. With the help of analytics, Gunnison shined a light on its labor and delivery practices and developed standard procedures aimed at producing better outcomes for patients.
Results:

87 percent relative reduction in the number of elective inductions of labor prior to 39 weeks gestation.
61.1 percent relative reduction in the number of NTSV cesarean deliveries.

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Enabling Informed Surgical Choices for Breast Cancer Through Shared Decision Making

One out of every eight women in the U.S. will develop breast cancer in her lifetime, and men have a lifetime risk of one in 1,000. This year, over 3.1 million women are currently being treated or have finished treatment for breast cancer.
The Virginia Piper Cancer Institute had clear evidence-based practice guidelines that directed recommendations for early breast cancer treatment options. Even with these evidence-based recommendations, however, the organization’s mastectomy rates were higher than expected.
Recognizing the organization could do better, the breast cancer program committee endorsed the spread of shared decision making for patients with early-stage breast cancer to all Virginia Piper Cancer Institute locations. The spread of shared decision making allowed patients to receive evidence-based information early in their course of care and make informed decisions that aligned with their values and preferences.
Within nine months of implementing a standard process for shared decision-making visits, the Virginia Piper Cancer Institute clinics that have completely adopted the process have made significant progress in engaging patients with early breast cancer in the shared decision-making process:

81 percent of eligible patients (207 people) participated in shared decision-making visits.
62 percent of the shared decision-making visits were in person.
27 percent relative increase in surgical decision of lumpectomy over mastectomy.

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Shared Decision-Making Leads to Better Decisions and Improves Patient Relationships

Shared decision-making is the process by which clinicians and patients work together to make decisions and select tests, treatments, and care plans based on clinical evidence. Shared decision-making balances risk and expected outcomes with patient preferences and values, empowering patients to make informed decisions.
Project leadership at Allina Health didn’t have a way to know if shared decision-making interventions were being applied. By utilizing its analytics platform, Allina Health was able to track whether or not decision support tools were being used consistently and if shared decision-making conversations were happening, if there was variation in how and when they were being used, and if they were making a difference.
Within nine months of implementing the standard shared decision-making process Allina Health substantially increased the number of patients participating in the program:

749 patients have participated in a shared decision-making visit across the system, including:

69 percent of eligible patients with low back pain.
84 percent of eligible patients with early breast cancer.

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Data-Driven Practice Intelligence Increases Provider Engagement and Strengthens Improvement Efforts

Physicians are under increasing cost pressure from commercial health insurers and government payers. Physician groups that wish to remain independent must embrace the changes associated with the shift to value-based care, adopt new technologies to reduce and streamline costs, and demonstrate ongoing quality improvement.
Acuitas Health is a population health services organization that empowers physicians to make a successful transition to a value-based care delivery system. While the organization has the requisite expertise to provide these services to providers of care, Acuitas Health lacked the timely, actionable data required to effectively engage providers in improvement efforts.
Acuitas Health implemented the Health Catalyst® Data Operating System (DOS™) to support the development of practice intelligence profiles—comprehensive views of partner practices used by the practice intelligence team to increase provider engagement and strengthen improvement efforts.
As a result of the DOS implementation, Acuitas Health improved overall data quality to achieve significant results:

Substantial increase in provider engagement.
90 percent improvement in using data to identify improvement opportunities.
Provider- and practice-specific data, which would have previously taken months to compile, is now available daily.

 

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Dedication to Quality Improvement Delivers on the Triple Aim: Saves Tens of Millions Annually

Unwarranted variation in clinical care is costly: representing as much as $30 million of actionable savings opportunity for a typical organization. Addressing clinical care at Allina Health, however, was challenging—as a large system with limited resources, the organization struggled to standardize work to impact outcomes and reduce costs.
Allina Health’s executive team understood that, due to market and system demands, it needed sharper focus on increasing clinical value to improve financial margins. In response, the organization launched its Clinical Value Program, a systemwide effort to measure and improve clinical value. The program quantifies the value of clinical change work to improve outcomes, while reducing costs and increasing revenue for reinvestment in care.
With a data-driven, multidisciplinary team effort, Allina Health’s Clinical Value Program has improved care and delivered on the Triple Aim, achieving the following results:

More than $33 million positive margin impact by expense reduction and additional hospital in/outpatient revenue.
Identified $13 million in additional opportunities for cost reductions, which have been integrated into the health system budget plan.

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Collaborative, Data-Driven Approach Reduces Sepsis Mortality by 54 Percent

In the U.S., sepsis impacts more than 1.5 million people annually, of which about 250,000 will die. This accounts for one-third to one-half of all deaths for hospitalized patients. Health Quest focused on identifying ways to improve these outcomes. Despite instituting several evidence-based recommendations, the organization had not succeeded in reducing sepsis mortality to its desired rate.
Health Quest established a multidisciplinary sepsis committee to lead improvement efforts, including the use of analytics to combat sepsis mortality rates and improve patient outcomes, resulting in a:

54 percent relative reduction in sepsis mortality, saving 92 lives in 10 months.
57.1 percent relative reduction in catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) standardized infection ratio (SIR).
30.7 percent relative reduction in C. difficile SIR.

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Activity-Based Costing and Clinical Service Lines Team up to Improve Financial and Clinical Outcomes

Healthcare costs continue to increase at a disproportionate rate relative to gross domestic product, and Americans are becoming increasingly aware that they aren’t getting their money’s worth. To build a sustainable healthcare system, healthcare organizations must identify and address waste and reduce the total cost of care.
UPMC recognized that the common denominator to addressing threats to sustainability is to fully understand and effectively manage costs. It implemented activity-based costing (ABC), facilitated by the Health Catalyst CORUS™ Suite, to deliver detailed and actionable cost data across the analytics environment, and support service line reporting, contract modeling, and clinical process improvement. UPMC has used this approach to effectively drive cost savings and improve clinical outcomes in many of its service lines, including Surgical Services, Women’s Health, Orthopedics, and Cardiovascular. For example:

$3M cost savings/avoidance over 2 years through the implementation of the ERAS program.
Increased insight into cost variation and drivers of inefficiency in the operating room setting.
Improved patient outcomes and quality (readmissions, complications, patient reported outcomes, patient satisfaction, etc.) for patients undergoing joint replacement.

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Application of Analytics to DNFB Improvement Effort Continues to Deliver Impressive Results

Financial challenges rank as the number one issue hospitals face, and hospital CEOs are always looking for opportunities to boost revenue through improved reimbursement. Managing discharged not final billed (DNFB) cases, where bills remain incomplete due to coding or documentation gaps, is one important way hospitals can improve financial performance. However, without analytics to support efforts, meeting a target for DNFB improvement remains a serious challenge.
Thibodaux Regional Medical Center, a 180-bed community hospital in Louisiana, invested in analytics and resources to improve their DNFB rates. By expanding the use of analytics to every aspect of the work, the hospital transformed financial improvement efforts with impressive results.
While some organizations struggle to sustain hard-won financial improvements, two years after Thibodaux Regional launched its initial DNFB improvement effort, it has sustained the initial outcomes, and further reduced AR days by 27.5 percent, while achieving these additional improvements:

$1 million in additional annual reimbursement, attributable to improvements in the accuracy of clinical documentation and CMI.
66.7 percent relative reduction in DNFB dollars, significantly improving cash flow.

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Enhanced Recovery Program Improves Elective Colorectal Surgical Outcomes

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.

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Using Data to Spotlight Variation and Transform Total Joint Care

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.

 
 

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Clinical and Financial Partnership Reduces Denials and Write-Offs by More than $3 Million

CMS denies nearly 26 percent of all claims, of which up to 40 percent are never resubmitted. The bane of many healthcare systems is the inability to identify and correct the root causes of these denials, which can end up costing a single system tens of millions of dollars. Yet almost two-thirds of denials are recoverable and 90 percent are preventable.1 Despite previous initiatives, The University of Kansas Health System’s denial rate (25 percent) was higher than best practice (five percent), and leadership realized that, to provide its patients with world-class financial and clinical outcomes, it would need to engage differently with its clinical partners.
To effectively reduce revenue cycle and implement effective change, The University of Kansas Health System needed to proactively identify issues that occurred early in the revenue cycle process. To rethink its denials process, it simultaneously increased organizational commitment, refined its improvement task force structure, developed new data capabilities to inform the work, and built collaborative partnerships between clinicians and the finance team.
As a result of its renewed efforts, process re-design, stakeholder engagement, and improved analytics, The University of Kansas Health System achieved impressive savings in just eight months.

$3 million in recurring benefit, the direct result of denials reduction.
$4 million annualized recurring benefit.
Successfully partnered with clinical leadership to transition ongoing denial reduction efforts to operational leaders.

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Advancing Health Equity – Data Driven Strategies Reduce Health Inequities

Health equity means that everyone has an equal opportunity to live the healthiest life possible – this requires removing obstacles to health. The U.S. ranks last on nearly all measures of equity, as indicated by its large, disparities in health outcomes. Illness, disability, and death in the United States are more prevalent and more severe for minority groups. Health inequities persist in Minnesota as well, which motivated Allina Health to take targeted actions to reduce inequities.
Allina Health needed actionable data to identify disparities and to reduce these inequities. This came in the form of REAL (race, ethnicity, and language) data, which Allina Health analysts used to visualize how health outcomes vary by demographic characteristics including race, ethnicity, and language.  To understand the root causes of specific disparities as well as to identify solutions within their sphere of influence as a healthcare delivery system, Allina Health consulted the literature and also consulted patients, employees and community members. Then Allina Health created appropriate interventions based on this information.
As a result, Allina Health created an awareness of the health inequities among its patient populations, as well as effective approaches to breach the barriers that were preventing these patients from getting the care they needed. While much work remains in this long journey to achieve health equity, Allina Health has taken some significant steps forward, including:

Three percent relative improvement in colorectal cancer (CRC) screening rates for targeted populations, exceeding national CRC screening rates by more than ten percentage points.
REAL data embedded in dashboards and workflow to easily identify and monitor disparities.

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Unleashing the Data to Sustain Spine Service Line Improvements

Research shows that despite an increase in the number of improvements in clinical, cost, and operational outcomes, there is a lack of sustained improvements. Some of the key challenges can be access to the data and analytics, and adherence to data-driven clinical standards, things the Allina Health Spine Clinical Service Line (CSL) clinical leadership team experienced.
By providing widespread access to the data and analytics, the Spine CSL at Allina Health has been able to continue its reduction in LOS and further improve its reduction in complications, all while increasing cost savings and achieving pay-for-performance incentives.
Results:

$1 million in pay-for-performance incentives received.
More than $2 million in supply chain savings, a result of data-driven clinical standardization.
31 percent of expected complications avoided.
22 percent relative reduction in surgical site infections.

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Blood Conservation Program Yields Millions of Dollars in Savings

Every three seconds, someone in the United States will need a blood transfusion, which adds up to nearly 17 million blood components transfused annually. Yet, evidence shows that up to 60 percent of red cell transfusions may not be necessary. In 2011, Allina Health, a healthcare delivery system that serves Minnesota and western Wisconsin, had a wide variation in transfusion practices throughout the system and a transfusion rate that was 25 percent above national benchmarks. In an effort to improve outcomes of high-risk transfusions, Allina Health turned to its data to develop an evidence-based blood conservation program aimed at reducing costs and saving valuable blood resources.
Results:

$3.2M decrease in annual blood product acquisition costs since 2011
30,283 units saved annually
111 units of red cells saved per 1000 inpatient admissions

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