19 July 2016

Sheridan Helps NICU Boost Average Daily Census 600%

Sheridan Healthcare’s decade-long partnership with Penrose-St. Francis Health Services has helped St. Francis Medical Center upgrade to a level III NICU, increase its ADC to six times the original volume, decrease the minimum gestational age of the babies it cares for by five weeks, build its market reputation and improve the quality of care.

Penrose-St. Francis Health Services is a full-service, 522-bed acute care facility in Colorado Springs that includes Penrose Hospital and St. Francis Medical Center. Healthgrades has named Penrose-St. Francis one of “America’s 50 Best Hospitals” for nine years in a row (2008 - 2016).

About 10 years ago, Penrose-St. Francis wanted to upgrade the level II NICU at the 522-bed, not-for-profit St. Francis Medical Center facility to a higher-level unit that would provide expanded neonatal services to the Colorado Springs community. They also wanted to build their reputation among sister hospitals in the Centura Health system and also in the local market, which included two other highly respected and established hospitals. Mark Hartman, St. Francis Medical Center’s chief administrative officer, explained, “We were in a much smaller facility at the time and wanting to improve what we were doing from a NICU point of care perspective. We didn’t like seeing transfers out of our system and thought we could do more.”

Sheridan helped Penrose-St. Francis establish a successful NICU strategy based on providing high-quality, high-level neonatology services and a commitment to the local community, including relationship-building initiatives with other prominent area hospitals and local non-profits including Colorado-based Project Newborn Hope, which raises money for funding NICU projects to support at-risk mother and infant programs. Sheridan recruited two dedicated neonatologists, collaborated on program development and helped Penrose-St. Francis upgrade its St. Francis Medical Center NICU to Level IIIA care.

St. Francis adopted our proprietary PremiEHR™ web-based neonatal EHR system that gives physicians real-time information on neonatal patients and allows doctors to record consistent, searchable notes. Sheridan also helped St. Francis add a Maternal-Fetal Medicine (MFM) program for high-risk maternity care as well as 25 private neonatal bays.

By improving the hospital’s level of care, Sheridan expanded Penrose-St. Francis Health Services’ reputation in the community and with neighboring Centura Health facilities, and cultivated strong relationships with other area hospitals. The quality of NICU services attracted sister facilities and retained patients within the Centura Health system of hospitals.

As of mid-July this year, the NICU hadn’t had a central line infection in 486 days. The gestational age of the babies they care for has been pushed from 28 weeks and older to around 23 weeks. And the original average daily census of five babies, which more than doubled in the first four years, is now nearly 30 – six times the original ADC.

Mr. Hartman and Sheridan doctors talk more about how Sheridan Women’s and Children’s Services has worked with Penrose-St. Francis to achieve its goals.