Category Archives: Cost Savings

4 May 2016

Overcrowded EDs and Population Health

Unsurprisingly, yet another study has linked ED inefficiency with poorer population health outcomes. This time from George Washington University, the study found that the most crowded quartile of EDs had a much lower rate of adoption for common techniques that reduce overcrowding, such as bedside registration and surgical schedule smoothing. This finding is made more concerning by the fact that adoption of these techniques is increasing across hospitals as a whole. While the general adoption trend is positive, the hospitals most in need are also the ones improving the slowest.

Dr. Jesse Pines, a professor of emergency medicine and health policy at GWU and one of the study's authors, believes that a lack of resources...

25 April 2016

The Drive for Process Improvement Part 5: Elevating Transformative Vision

Three leaders from the International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement (ICHOM) – a nonprofit founded by organizations known for progressive business practices and rigorous research: Harvard Business School, The Boston Consulting Group and the Karolinska Institutet – published an article in Harvard Business Review that analyzes the success some healthcare organizations have had in implementing patient outcomes measurement programs. The article lists five steps that should be applied when implementing major change or process improvement within healthcare systems. This blog post is the final in a five part series that critique and nuance each ICHOM step from a Kaizen perspective.

Be...

12 April 2016

The Drive for Process Improvement Part 4: Effectively Celebrating Progress

Three leaders from the International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement (ICHOM) – a nonprofit founded by organizations known for progressive business practices and rigorous research: Harvard Business School, The Boston Consulting Group and the Karolinska Institutet – published an article in Harvard Business Review that analyzes the success some healthcare organizations have had in implementing patient outcomes measurement programs. The article lists five steps that should be applied when implementing major change or process improvement within healthcare systems. This blog post is the fourth in a series of five that critique and nuance each ICHOM step from a Kaizen perspective.

Daily...

29 March 2016

The Drive for Process Improvement Part 3: Commit to Your Vision

Three leaders from the International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement (ICHOM) – a nonprofit founded by organizations known for progressive business practices and rigorous research: Harvard Business School, The Boston Consulting Group and the Karolinska Institutet – published in Harvard Business Review that analyzes the success some healthcare organizations have had in implementing patient outcomes measurement programs. The article lists five steps that should be applied when implementing major change or process improvement within healthcare systems. This blog post is the third in a series of five that critique and nuance each ICHOM step from a Kaizen perspective.

Preparing to Drive...

25 March 2016

Designing the Future of Emergency Medicine

The best emergency departments are those that consistently look for ways to optimize and streamline processes so that clinicians can reach patients as quickly as possible and care for them successfully. Mirroring these dynamic EDs, the emergency medicine field as a whole will need to look for ways to improve the delivery of care. As baby boomers age, systemic capacity for quality patient care will be strained by its sheer cost and volume. In this sense, it will be necessary for doctors to question the current best practices in emergency medicine. There is a mounting need for innovation within every facet of the workflow.

To address this need, Sheridan organized the Innovate Emergency Medicine (iEM) conference...

22 March 2016

Elevating Patient Care and Satisfaction at St. Mary’s Medical Center

St. Mary’s Medical Center in Missouri began working with Sheridan in 2013 to help improve its emergency department’s workflow, staff communication and patient satisfaction. Ken Colaric, M.D., the hospital’s director of emergency services, worked with Sheridan to organize a Kaizen event to identify the critical constraints that were increasing patients’ length of stay. Kaizen is a lean process improvement methodology and one of the key tools that Sheridan provides to its partner facilities.

Through the Kaizen, St. Mary’s used input from a multidisciplinary group of stakeholders to create processes that cut down on wait times, duplicated efforts and inefficiencies. The department implemented...

25 February 2016

The Drive for Process Improvement Part 2: Assembling Your Dream Team

Three leaders from the International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement (ICHOM) – a nonprofit founded by organizations known for progressive business practices and rigorous research: Harvard Business School, The Boston Consulting Group and the Karolinska Institutet – published an article in Harvard Business Review that analyzes the success some healthcare organizations have had in implementing patient outcomes measurement programs. The article lists five steps that should be applied when implementing major change or process improvement within healthcare systems. This blog post is the second in a series of five that builds upon each ICHOM step from a Kaizen perspective.

The Necessary Roles of a...

23 February 2016

CT Utilization in the Emergency Department: Improving Outcomes and Reducing Costs

Diagnostic imaging technology has made enormous strides over the past 20 years, helping medical professionals save thousands of lives by detecting disease earlier and more accurately. When imaging technology is implemented poorly, however, it can do more harm than good. Modern medical imaging methods, in general – and CT scans, in particular – deliver radiation doses that are orders of magnitude higher than conventional X-rays, which means that their benefits come with additional risk (including cancer). When these risks and benefits are not managed properly, the technology can actually have a net negative effect on overall population health and facility operating costs.

The United States is notorious for its...

4 February 2016

The Drive for Process Improvement Part 1: Making Champions of Believers

Three leaders from the International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement (ICHOM) – a nonprofit founded by organizations known for progressive business practices and rigorous research: Harvard Business School, The Boston Consulting Group and the Karolinska Institutet – published an article in Harvard Business Review that analyzes the success some healthcare organizations have had in implementing patient outcomes measurement programs. The article lists five steps that should be applied when implementing major change or process improvement within healthcare systems. This blog post is the first in a series of five that critique and nuance each ICHOM step from a Kaizen perspective.

Identifying...

25 January 2016

HCAHPS: Challenges of Increasing Patient Satisfaction in the ED

As healthcare reimbursement continues to shift to a value-based scale, patient satisfaction scores are playing a larger role and are receiving more attention from hospital executives.

According to a recent article in HealthLeaders, 1.5% of all Medicare payments in 2015 are based on a hospital’s Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) score. This will increase to 2% by 2017. While elements of patient satisfaction and quality scores have always been a priority for healthcare providers, the increasing monetary value that is tied to these metrics elevates those issues even more. The following graph, which was included in the HealthLeaders article, illustrates this shift in...

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