Health Information Exchange

Improving Quality of Care Through Information and Technology

Clinician utilizing health technology

Bayhealth Medical Center, a healthcare system serving central and southern parts of Delaware, wanted to improve quality of care across all their facilities, including Bayhealth Hospital, Kent Campus and Bayhealth Sussex Campus.

Inconsistent processes and workflows across the healthcare system were contributing to inefficiencies such as duplicative work. They had over 200 disparate clinical and financial systems, and both their ambulatory and acute EMR were in a state of transition and/or limited use. Moreover, their financial systems lacked the ability to identify cost savings and uncover opportunities for increased revenue. Business intelligence and data analytics were extremely immature and often inconclusive.

After identifying these issues, Bayhealth recognized an opportunity for transformation—so they set a goal to shift from a reactionary approach to a proactive operational role, leveraging technology to provide better care.

Stage 7 Success Story: Bayhealth Medical Center

Bayhealth formed multidisciplinary committees and governance to engage in a selection process for a single integrated core system, with support from the executive leadership council and board of directors. To minimize the time and cost of a multi-phase implementation, they chose a Big Bang approach for clinical and financial systems. Two major go-live dates were set—the first for ambulatory systems, the second for acute care systems.

The state-of-the-art systems infrastructure was ready for application build, with all ambulatory build and testing requirements fulfilled in time for their first live system use. Keeping quality of care at the center of their work, Bayhealth prioritized patient scheduling as their first milestone, so ambulatory application requirements were completed first.

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In the months that followed, the organization continued work on the acute application go-live requirements, which included integrated testing, training and workflow walkthroughs. Third-party integration points—such as voice recognition and device integration—were a significant work effort that required careful oversight.

Immediately following the ambulatory and acute systems go-live events, Bayhealth embarked on several additional programs to expand the use of technology and improve quality of care:

  • Established national health information exchange agreements
  • Introduced a formal business intelligence program
  • Onboarded an EMR subscription program

All of this contributed to the successful launch of Bayhealth’s population health initiative, dedicated to taking patient-centric care to the next level.

Lastly, in an effort to align all departments—especially their IT department—for success, Bayhealth’s leadership completed a full reorganization. This effort was critical in establishing an equitable recognition of diverse talents and skills for personnel that supported an entire ecosystem of technologies.

Due to their hard work incorporating new best practices in their EMR ordering process, Bayhealth realized a wealth of improvements, including reduced infection and sepsis rates:

  • Decreased sepsis mortality rate from 36% to 12%; average sepsis mortality rate is 20–30%
  • Increased bundle compliance rate to 47%; up from 21%
  • Decreased missed opportunities for repeat lactic acid from 28 earlier that year to zero the following quarter

Achieving EMRAM and O-EMRAM Stage 7 Validation

HIMSS is pleased to recognize Bayhealth Medical Center for both their HIMSS Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM) Stage 7 validation and their HIMSS Outpatient Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (O-EMRAM) Stage 7 validation.

“The Bayhealth team focused their efforts to build a system tailored to the needs of the physicians and to serve as a strategic advantage for expansion,” said Philip Bradley, regional director, analytics, HIMSS. “An example of this advantage was demonstrated when they partnered with a new cardiology group. In only six months, they were able to bring the cardiology group up on their EMR, train the physicians and achieve high physician satisfaction.”

“The use of the EMR by Bayhealth physicians and staff is driving improvements in safety and patient care for those we serve,” said Terry Murphy, president and chief executive officer at Bayhealth Medical Center. “I'd like to thank the information technology team and all the leaders and staff involved in this effort to transform patient care with the adoption of our technology. This is a significant achievement and recognition for how we are utilizing information and technology to benefit our community.”

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