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Saving children’s lives with data

Data and reports are unlikely tools for heroes. But the team at Texas Children’s Hospital (Houston, Texas, U.S.A.) is analyzing patient information and tracking clinical results to help improve care for vulnerable, critically ill children. A recent success story outlines some of the many ways Texas Children’s is using Allscripts EPSi™ to support clinical initiatives throughout the organization. One example of these efforts is helping infants who have difficulty swallowing. Better evaluation of babies with swallowing difficulty, to reduce risk of aspiration Children who do not swallow safely are at risk for feeding and respiratory problems. Unfortunately, the primary tool to assess swallowing disorders is invasive and its radiation may have long-term negative effects. Occupational therapists approached Senior Decision Support Analyst Mary Watson with a request to develop a way to identify infants at risk for aspiration. Using EPSi, Watson […]

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Top 10 client stories of 2015

Clients do phenomenal work on behalf of their patients. And it’s clear from our annual review of this blog that readers like to read about how people are improving health care. Here’s a list of the 10 most-read, most-shared client stories in 2015: Allscripts Sunrise workflow can help eliminate common hospital-acquired infections Central Line Associated Blood Stream Infection (CLABSI) is one of the most deadly hospital-acquired infections in the U.S. with a mortality rate of 12% – 25%. Proven prevention techniques can reduce CLABSI incidence by 65% – 70%. Health First (Rockledge, Florida, U.S.A.) and Blessing Hospital (Quincy, Illinois, U.S.A.) shared in a recent client webinar how they are using Allscripts SunriseTM and best practices to decrease CLABSI. Should we measure outcomes or compliance? Of course, the ultimate goal is to improve clinical and financial outcomes. Healthcare organizations want to know they’re delivering the best quality […]

University Health System (UHS) is a nationally recognized academic medical center in San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A., serving more than 230,000 unique patients each year. Like many healthcare organizations, UHS strives to deliver the best care at the lowest cost. “Every c-suite healthcare executive in the country is focused on improving quality, safety and outcomes. Improving the patient experience. Improving efficiency and access to care,” Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer Bill Phillips said. “How do we give better care to our patients and still cut costs? That is getting really difficult.” Because it’s critical to have a financial decision support solution that enables greater visibility to financial performance, UHS uses Allscripts EPSi™:   “Knowing what your service lines are doing, how they’re performing each day, is a ‘must’ to survive these tight economic times in health care,” Phillips said. […]

UK HealthCare (Lexington, Kentucky, U.S.A.) uses Allscripts EPSi™ to combine clinical and financial data for more complete and accurate decision support information. As detailed in a recent case study, this integrated data helped the organization measure outcomes from the modification of its transfusion program, which saved more than $2.4 million in direct costs over five years. Why give two units when one will do? When a patient has abnormally low hemoglobin (Hb) levels, it is common practice for clinicians to order Red Blood Cell (RBC) transfusions to help carry oxygen to all parts of the body. However, the threshold or “trigger” for when such transfusions are necessary has changed over the last several decades. UK HealthCare used evidence-based guidance to evaluate its policy on RBC triggers and determined it could safely lower its transfusion trigger from 8 g/dL Hb to […]

Transitions—when patients move from one care setting to another—represent a state of vulnerability for both the patient and the healthcare organization. Patients need referrals to the most appropriate provider in a timely, seamless fashion so they get the level of care they need. If patients leave the network, it could result in revenue leakage for the provider organization. I’ve heard healthcare leaders estimate that between 20-30% of their patients ultimately leave their network during a transition of care. This renders the care team less able to ensure patients get the best possible care—and less able to track patient progress and monitor follow-up. Plus, it means missed revenue opportunities. When patients see out-of-network ambulatory or post-acute providers, healthcare networks are unable to capture the revenue that would otherwise be associated with patient care. There are downstream financial effects, too. When patients […]

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5 strategies to combine clinical and financial insights

Our client base reflects some of the finest financial decision support teams in the United States. These teams help put Allscripts EPSiTM at the top of its class. Our clients are incredibly creative in using EPSi to combine clinical insights and financial data. Some of our favorite client strategies include: 1)   A world-class multi-hospital IDN in upstate New York found opportunities to improve operational efficiency and reduce the total cost of care. By setting specific utilization and length-of-stay targets by service line, and aligning those targets with their financial planning process, this client saved $20 million in one year while maintaining a high quality of care. To learn more, click here for the complete outcomes story. 2) A regional healthcare leader in Washington State used EPSi to save more than $981,000 through its clinically and financially valuable palliative care program. […]

In Taoist philosophy, yin and yang describe two seemingly contrary halves that together make a complete whole. It aptly describes a common experience in academic medical centers: Balancing patient care with academic training and research. At a recent advisory group meeting for Allscripts EPSiTM decision support leaders at academic medical centers, I heard some common themes: When a resident and physician are working side by side, how do we account for the expenses associated with teaching time and other “non-billable” activities? What are the true costs and contribution to patient care given the additional academic time and materials supporting each resident? How do we accurately budget and account for funding sources that are established to pay for the research and teaching aspects of care? How do we have the right financial incentives and programs in place to keep and grow […]

The University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC – Jackson, Mississippi, U.S.A.) uses Allscripts EPSiTM to identify cost-saving opportunities while helping to improve overall care and patient experience. Using EPSi’s patient analytics and teaming up finance and physician expertise, it has identified two areas with potential cost-saving opportunities of $1.3 million: 1) Reducing unnecessary lab testing Certain laboratory tests have enough diagnostic accuracy to make other tests unnecessary. The UMMC team used evidence-based guidelines to identify and evaluate 21 redundant testing scenarios. “With a rich data set, we can fine-tune pathways and standard order sets for the clinical side,” UMMC Director of Finance Operations Bryan Clements said. “These tools help better prioritize decisions for patient issues, like unnecessary lab testing, which are also often cost issues, too.” 2) Identifying efficient and effective uses for medications UMMC also focused efforts on reviewing […]

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3 ways to build a better hospital budget

Featured in a new success story, Kaleida Health (Buffalo, New York, USA) recently used Allscripts EPSiTM to save more than $20 million in one year – while still maintaining a high quality of care. The organization, one of the largest in Western New York, needed to reduce overall spending to remain competitive. Kaleida Health turned to EPSi, which provides clients integrated budgeting, financial decision support and long-range financial planning, helping to improve patient outcomes while reducing costs and maximizing revenues. Kaleida Health used three methods to identify total cost opportunities throughout the organization: 1)      Break up the budget process. The team at Kaleida Health examined each service line individually, determining the utilization and per-patient cost targets. “Breaking it into smaller pieces made it more actionable,” said Kaleida Health Senior Director of Decision Support Christine Lanza. 2)      Develop a strategic approach. […]