Follow Us

Follow @SheridanHC

Job Seeker

Putting the right people in the right places.
View Jobs

Sign up to receive regular updates on our progress in this ongoing effort as well as the latest events, happenings, webinars and white papers.
Sign Up

21 October 2014

What Hospital CEOs Really Want

Sheridan Healthcare recently participated in a Q&A discussion where hospital CEOs shared with each other their strategies for addressing a myriad of healthcare topics. A key takeaway from the session – CEOs want long-term partnerships that help them reach their growth objectives. These meaningful partnerships must include transparency, collaboration and growth.

Hospital CEOs expressed the importance of transparency on the part of their outsourced service providers, so they are comfortable with hiring practices, compliance procedures, and the performance metrics used as an extension of their hospitals’ departments.

Great partnerships make life easier for hospital CEOs and the right partners truly collaborate with hospitals to develop solutions to challenges. In working with health systems, hospitals and ASCs for decades, Sheridan continually collaborates with its clients to standardize metrics, improve facility performance, develop and apply best practices, and create unique programs like ClearPATh pre-admission testing procedures to promote efficiency.

Many growth goals for hospitals often involve cost savings, OR utilization, patient satisfaction and quality of care, and department physician and staff retention. Sheridan’s physician leaders have spearheaded significant process improvement and cost-saving initiatives at the hospitals in which they work, which have a positive ripple effect of increased quality of care, and satisfaction rates of both physicians and patients.

15 October 2014

How Hospital EDs Prepare for Weather-Related Disasters

Natural disaster and mass casualty emergencies often occur unexpectedly; when they do, hospital Emergency Departments often experience a surge in volume that overwhelms their day-to-day capacity. EDs prepare year-round for these events by conducting frequent drills and ongoing training that is inclusive of all hospital personnel and local community first responders. Vigilance in staying up-to-date on ACEP guidelines also is highly recommended. 

Lean process tools can add an extra layer of preparedness to disaster procedures that are already in place. These tools and systems can help ensure that hospitals handle surge volume more efficiently and also that they return back to “normal” operations as soon as possible.

  • ClearPathED is Sheridan’s lean workflow suite that streamlines the patient experience and ensures the timely, appropriate evaluation of ED patients. Through this Emergency Medicine best practice that focuses on reducing waste, right sizing staff and efficient throughput, Emergency Departments can reduce Arrival to Evaluation times, LBBS, AMA, LOS unnecessary testing, and risk exposure. Hardwiring lean philosophy/culture and deploying lean principles during disaster events can improve an Emergency Department’s ability to successfully manage surge capacity. 
  • Kaizen tools, a key component of the ClearPathED suite, can help hospitals EDs set up streamlined procedures for triaging patients, enhancing direct-to-bed concepts, and can ensure that patients efficiently flow through the ED. A hospital based Kaizen event can help frontline staff identify flow “pain points” and develop breakthrough processes, so they are better prepared when disaster strikes.

Read about one hospital that used ClearPathED processes to improve patient satisfaction and reduce “Left Before Being Seen” scores.

6 October 2014

Treat the Child, Treat the Family

In an emergency room setting, pediatric patients are unique. They aren’t “small adults” and cannot be treated as such. Many factors play a role in treating these patients, including differences in a child’s age, developmental stages, and special needs. These factors make pediatric ER cases different from adult ER cases. Also, when pediatric patients enter the ER, they often have a whole care team behind them – from family members to pediatricians to additional specialists.

Sheridan ER pediatricians provide coordinated care to this entire team – this can include calling to update the regular pediatrician or making sure the family is kept informed and comfortable. In this video, Sheridan ER pediatrician Dr. Flaster shares his insights when it comes to treating children in the ER.

Learn more about Sheridan's pediatric care programs.

15 September 2014

Hospital CFOs Agree, Innovation is Key to Success – 4 Tips to Get You Started

What does it take to be innovative? Entrepreneurs and business leaders strive to craft novel solutions to combat daily challenges in their industries, and we know that hospital leaders are no different. When we talked to a group of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) from top hospitals about the challenges they face, innovation was a hot topic. Many CFOs wished that hospital departments would come to them proactively with cost-effective ideas and ways to increase the volume in the anesthesia department.

True innovators look at processes and tools that already exist and ask, How can I make this better? In a hospital, innovations can help reduce waste, cut costs, or increase efficiency. They also can help hospitals meet new regulations in the changing healthcare landscape. At Sheridan, we encourage our physicians at client hospitals to constantly examine their current processes to realize positive change. Here are some of the innovation tips we live by:

  1. Identify your pain points. The old saying goes, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” – so isolate that one issue or procedure that causes the most problems, and drill down until you have a solution.
  2. Ask better questions. Broad questions can be intimidating and hard to answer, so get specific. Instead of asking how to reduce hospital costs, look at a specific process and ask how you can make it better.
  3. Examine current standards. Look at your existing processes to see if you can take advantage of any economies of scale?
  4. Ask for help from a trusted partner. Take advantage of your partnerships with physician groups. When you work with an anesthesia group that is aligned with your hospital’s needs, you have an immediate resource to champion positive change. Get tips for how to evaluate a hospital partner in this video.

What do you think – do you have any additional tips for encouraging innovation in a hospital? Share them with us on Facebook!

9 September 2014

How to Implement the Changes From a Kaizen Event

After your team completes a successful Kaizen event to improve hospital processes from the bottom up, it’s time to celebrate – right? Not quite yet. This is when the real challenge begins. Now, it’s time to implement those changes and keep them going to make a real impact on hospital cost savings and efficient processes.

In part 3 of our video series, Dr. Tony Andrulonis discusses the sustaining process after a Kaizen event, and compares the Kaizen team members to coaches. Learn about the tools they can share with the rest of the hospital staff – their players – to produce truly astounding results. He also shares results from hospitals and CEOs who have used Kaizen to transform their departments:

Catch up on part 1 and part 2 of this series. Or, get in touch to learn more about how Kaizen can help you.

2 September 2014

How to Run a Successful Kaizen Event

Your Kaizen event is all planned, and you’ve put some serious thought into your goals and the team. What comes next? How can you ensure the actual event will run smoothly and produce hospital performance improvements?

In this video, Regional Medical Director Dr. Kaplan shares his insights on what makes a Kaizen event successful. Find out who the “natural leaders” in a clinical team are, how to encourage team members to to have an equal voice during the Kaizen, and what tools and processes are most valuable. Learn more in part 2 of our 3-part series, below:

If you missed part 1 of this series, watch it here. And read this blog post to learn about key Kaizen tools.

Update to this post: part 3 of Sheridan's Successful Kaizen Event Video Series is now available.

25 August 2014

How to Plan for a Successful Kaizen Event

At the Becker’s Hospital Review Annual Meeting this year, three Sheridan leaders teamed up to discuss how hospital executives can implement Kaizen methodology for improved cost savings, efficiency, and communications across hospital departments.

According to Dr. Andrew Greenfield, EVP of Anesthesia Services at Sheridan, every successful Kaizen event starts with phase 1 – the consultation and assessment phase. Watch the video and see what he had to say about topics such as: 

  • Encouraging top executives to coordinate
  • Putting together your Kaizen team
  • Outlining the pain points
  • Setting objectives and thinking about the big picture

For more on Kaizen, read our blog post “Hospital Improvements Made Possible.” 

Update to this post:  you can also now watch part 2 and part 3 of Sheridan's Sucessful Kaizen Event Video Series.

18 August 2014

JAMA Report Recommends OR Briefings to Reduce Errors

The operating room has been called the “revenue engine” of the hospital – at some facilities, OR services can contribute 60 to 70% of hospital revenues. However, according to the Journal of Patient Safety, 400,000+ people each year die from preventable medical errors - many of them in the OR. Last month, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) released a recommendation on ways to improve the safety and quality of care in an operating room: institute a standard briefing and debriefing process. An effective briefing can be performed in less than 2 minutes and can ultimately reduce delays by more than 80%, leading to hospital cost savings.

In a previous blog post, we discussed some of the obstacles hospital administrators may face when trying to institute hospital process improvements: 

  • Resistance to changefrom physicians and OR staff
  • Concerns about the added time
  • Hierarchy of a typical operating room.

Strategies to address these obstacles can be found here, but JAMA’s report is clear on the benefits of perioperative briefings:

  • Increased team communication
  • Fewer disruptions to surgical workflow
  • Improved overall perceptions about the safety climate in the OR

To conduct an effective briefing, follow these steps:

  1. Have team members introduce themselves by name and role
  2. Take a “time out” to focus on the case at hand without distractions
  3. Ask the anesthesiologist, surgeon, and nursing staff to provide a formal review.

A briefing process is also one of the key aspects of crew resource management (CRM), a strategy used by many hospitals to prevent OR errors. For more information on CRM, check out this blog post or download our paper on crew resource management, titled “Reducing Human Error in the Operating Room.”

13 August 2014

To Embrace Value-Based Care, Look For Economies of Scale

Value-based care was a hot topic at the recent American Hospital Association Forum, and continues to be a subject on hospital executives’ minds. While all hospitals are expected to eventually transition away from the fee-for-service (FFS) model, many are still straddling the line. According to a study conducted by the Office of Civil Rights, the majority of payors and hospitals are still using a dual system of value-based and FFS reimbursements, but 60% are on track with the transition to value-based models. These groups predict that FFS reimbursements will decline more than 20% over the next five years.

Since costs and quality of care factor heavily into value-based purchasing, one strategy for hospital system leaders to help smooth the transition is to increase economies of scale where possible. Executives can spread technology or hospital management costs across multiple hospitals in a system to help bring down individual costs. In a report aimed at helping hospitals master value-based payment, Lisa Goldstein, managing director for Moody’s Investors Service, said “The contemporary thinking is that under reform, the bigger you are, the more you can spread the costs of your infrastructure over the enterprise's footprint…Long term, you can leverage a less-expensive healthcare system to payors, exchanges, employers and all purchasers of healthcare.”

Standardized procedures and common success metrics can go a long way towards maximum efficiency and decreased costs – and these savings are magnified when applied across multiple hospitals in a system. Learn more about our approach to managing hospital operations, and talk to us about using our health care management services across different hospitals in your system.

5 August 2014

What Will the Two-Midnight Rule Cost Hospitals?

One year ago, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) adopted the “two midnight” rule, which called for doctors to admit a hospital patient as an inpatient case only if he or she required at least two nights of observation. The law was designed to reduce unnecessary hospital stays, but groups like the American Hospital Association (AHA) immediately pushed back – they argued that this “wholly arbitrary requirement” was a “black-line rule” that takes clinical decisions out of the doctor’s hands.

How does this policy affect a hospital’s bottom line? A report from Moody Investor Services estimates that the two-midnight rule could end up reducing average reimbursement per case by $3,000 to $4,000, since CMS typically reimburses hospitals at lower rates for outpatient cases. This will also impact the volume of patients, which may mean decreased hospital efficiency and overall earnings. Tenet Healthcare, a major hospital system, anticipates losing up to $25 million on both volume and earnings as a result of this rule.

Often times, hospital administrators look to emergency department (ED) doctors to guide whether a patient should be admitted or not. In an interview with Fierce Healthcare, Catherine Polera, Chief Clinical Officer of Emergency Medicine, discussed what this law could mean to these teams. She predicts that some ED patients may sign themselves out against medical advice when they learn they could be responsible for a portion of their hospital bills. This contributes to higher Left Before Being Seen scores for hospitals and increased costs, as these patients will often require additional care when they return to the ED even sicker than before.

In April, the AHA banded together with other associations and hospital groups to file two lawsuits against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to challenge the rule. As the U.S. population ages and more individuals are eligible for Medicare, this remains an issue of concern for hospital administrators. The actual implementation of the law has been delayed to 2015 – for now.