Process Improvement

Mackenzie Health Improves COPD Care Coordination

A healthy and happy elderly couple

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a progressive and irreversible lung disease that interferes with normal breathing by obstructing lung airflow. In Canada, the condition affects roughly 750,000 people. Mackenzie Health, a hospital in Richmond Hill, Ontario was seeing patients with the condition quite frequently—accounting for about 3% of patient admissions in 2017. For most of the year, wait times for inpatient beds at the hospital’s emergency department could take up to 72 hours because of the need for isolation.

Mackenzie Health knew they had to take action to address the delays in care and reduce the average length of stay (LOS) for COPD patients. To do so, they knew that improving care coordination among physicians, nurses and respiratory therapists would be critical. Together, they worked to standardize treatment plans and develop an electronic coordinated care pathway in the EMR.

How Mackenzie Health Transformed Workflows

To start coordinating better and quicker care for COPD patients, Mackenzie Health convened a multidisciplinary team to implement a COPD pathway in their EMR. The clinical team worked together to embed customized tools into their workflows driven by Electronic Orders Committee (EOC) governance. Results were monitored by utilizing data analytics reporting and dashboards.

These efforts led to a wealth of improved outcomes for COPD patients—including improvements in ambulation time, weaning of oxygen, and initiation of antibiotics and steroids. All of this contributed to over a two-day decrease in COPD patient LOS, translating to $200,000 in savings for Mackenzie Health per year.

The more coordinated care process also freed up room in the ED, so that more patients than average could be directly admitted. Patients were able to get home faster, and as a result, bed turnover increased by 28%.

HIMSS Davies Award of Excellence

The HIMSS Davies Award of Excellence recognizes thoughtful application of health information and technology to substantially improve clinical care delivery, patient outcomes and population health around the world. The Davies Awards program promotes HIMSS’s vision and mission by recognizing and sharing use cases, model practices and lessons learned on how to improve health and wellness through the power of information and technology.

“Mackenzie Health has identified digital health strategies to make workflows more efficient and safe while getting their patients the right care at the right time,” said Jonathan French, CPHIMS, SHIMSS, senior director of quality and value-based care with HIMSS. “COPD patients put on the pathway receive appropriate interventions with orders being built into the clinical workflow, ensuring they receive timely interventions. As result, patients see better long-term outcomes and quality of life. Length of stay has been reduced so significantly that the hospital saved hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. For this, HIMSS is proud to recognize Mackenzie Health with the Davies Enterprise Award.”

“Our approach to digital health, including our electronic medical record, has helped COPD patients access care and recover faster from an exacerbation, and has made a meaningful impact in patients’ lives at a time when they need us most,” says Altaf Stationwala, president and CEO, Mackenzie Health. “We’re proud to receive this distinguished award from HIMSS recognizing these efforts and improved patient care.”

Learn From Award-Winning Healthcare Organizations

See the full list of 2019 Davies Award winners.

More About the HIMSS Davies Awards

Updated March 6, 2020

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