Insights: Article

Real-Time Data Turns Into Real Results

March 29, 2018

At its core, it was a classic case of treating the symptom, not the disease.

A health system client was experiencing the same pressures shared by many providers in the current health care environment—reduced reimbursements, staff shortages, inefficiencies during patient visits. The organization adjusted in the same way many health systems had as well, adding providers and making changes to operations where they thought they could make a difference. It was clear, though, that those efforts were bandages to the problem, not a solution. To determine what really needed to be done, they needed to understand far more about how care resources were being used and exactly where the patient visit inefficiencies were occurring.

Not an easy task for an organization their size, but they understood the right technology—and the right people to interpret their data—could shine a light on an otherwise hidden area of their operations.

An Innovative Approach
Eide Bailly Health Care Consulting Manager Paul Schulz was tasked with helping the client get a clearer picture of its situation. He wanted this to be an opportunity for them to really make an impact in their operations.

“We started right away identifying and integrating what we consider the three pillars of innovation, technology, process and people,” said Schulz.

The first step of this design was to install a real-time location system solution that tracked patients, staff and the entire care process from start to finish. A real-time location service uses wireless tags to identify and track the physical location of people or items in real time.

“This information really helped jump start new and better ideas from staff,” said Schulz.

But capturing that data was only one piece of the puzzle. Eide Bailly used two technologies, real time location software and a business intelligence tool, to mobilize that data and offer clear, current-state readings. The results were linked to a process improvement model that turned the data into actionable information. The client suddenly had great visibility into their organization—like taking the roof off and looking inside. They could see what was being used and not used, where people were going, who was waiting, and more. The client team was able to better understand their processes and enact measured-based improvements.

“By applying intelligent process design, we were able to remove inefficiencies in the patient flow—increasing access and value to each patient visit, as well as maximizing staff engagement and satisfaction,” said Schulz.

Powerful Outcomes
It was a positive transformation of the client’s culture that delivered new and improved care processes, and the numbers speak for themselves.

Measurable Results:

  • Decreased patient cycle time by 25 percent, from over 60 minutes to less than 45 minutes.
  • Converted more than 4,500 minutes each week of from non-value-added time to value-added time.
  • Increased patient access by adding 1,700 more patient visits.
  • Generated 92 additional surgical cases through expanded number of patient visits.
  • Reduced 2,264 nursing hours and reallocated nursing staff to other lines of service.
  • Drove a 24 percent increase in an annual net revenue.

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