For healthcare organizations, sustaining improvements that have been adopted in more than one part of an organization remains a serious challenge. After improvement initiatives have been successfully implemented, it is estimated that less than 40 percent of gains are sustained in the long term. Because improvement initiatives are necessary to maintain a high standard of care, sustaining them so that further improvements can be made remains a top priority for health systems.
MultiCare Health System, a not-for-profit healthcare system serving Washington state, successfully implemented improvement efforts for patients undergoing elective colon surgery, which resulted in significant reductions in 30-day readmission, LOS, and surgical site infections (SSIs). However, without ensuring ongoing engagement, accountability, and visibility into performance, MultiCare was concerned improvements could slip away. By supporting continued monitoring powered by insights gained from relevant data, and by closely listening to provider feedback, MultiCare was able to sustain previous improvements while identifying new opportunities.
32.7 percent relative reduction in 30-day readmission rate for patients having elective colon surgery.
3.4-day median LOS for patients having elective colon surgery, sustaining previous improvement.
Among patients who had the complete enhanced recovery after surgery protocol implemented for elective colon surgery, there were no surgical site infections—for an entire year.