With consistent focus on improving the patient experience, population health and reducing costs, TriHealth prioritizes collaboration inside and outside their own walls to accomplish organizational goals. Observing the large and growing number of skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and growing needs around population health management, they recognized that forming a joint effort with external, non-affiliated facilities was critical to achieving the Triple Aim. The organization wrestled with the time-consuming challenge of capturing SNF performance data. Selection of a SNF at discharge was based on “perceived quality” versus actual quality metrics, which added to the challenge at hand.
In order to address this, TriHealth worked to find an automated methodology to report out quality performance of SNFs, in order to develop a preferred provider network. This required a standard and scalable documentation solution by the SNFs in order to report quality metrics with automation and consistency. The intended outcomes of the initiative were to create a preferred provider SNF network, increase communication with SNF partners, decrease readmissions from SNFs and improve utilization of their preferred providers demonstrating better quality outcomes and increasing their shared savings.
Partnering with SNFs to Improve Outcomes and Lower Costs
The organization began by developing documentation tools which allowed SNFs to log into TriHealth’s electronic medical record (EMR) and document key quality elements for care delivery received in SNFs. This tool provided a secure, HIPPA compliant methodology that was scalable with discrete and measurable data that could be used to demonstrate quality performance. The methodology and reporting tools were put in place to determine what level of quality performance indicated an SNF was part of the preferred provider network.
As a result of their Advanced Quality Outcome Initiative, the organization was able to reduce length of stay (LOS) and readmissions in key service lines for patients going to a preferred provider. For instance, in orthopedic providers, LOS averaged nearly two days less following implementation. In addition, wound care providers observed an approximate 19 percent lowered readmission rate. Such improvements helped TriHealth recognize a more than two million dollar reduction in SNF expenditures, $481,248 in cost avoidance (due to reduced cost per case) and an overall $2,578,123 return on investment.
The organization was also able to redeploy full-time equivalent resources from manual data collection, entry and reporting to the education of their SNFs and TriHealth team members, which improved overall team member satisfaction. Feedback from physicians, care management and patients was outstanding as they now had a mechanism to use data to help patients and their families make more informed decisions about facility placement.
HIMSS Davies Award of Excellence
The HIMSS Davies Award of Excellence recognizes outstanding achievement of organizations that have utilized health information and technology to substantially improve patient outcomes and value. The HIMSS Davies Award of Excellence is the pinnacle of the HIMSS Value Recognition Program and highlights organizations promoting health information and technology-enabled improvements in patient and business outcomes through sharing evidence-driven best practices on implementation strategies, workflow design, change management and patient engagement.
"Developing innovative solutions that transform the way we deliver care to our community is critical to our mission at TriHealth. Our strong culture of multi-disciplinary partnership has allowed us to join technology and processes in a manner that has made significant impacts to our organization and, most importantly, our patients,” said John Ward, senior vice president and chief information officer at TriHealth. "I am proud of the dedication and commitment of our teams at TriHealth. We are truly honored to be awarded the 2018 Davies Enterprise Award of Excellence.”
“TriHealth is leveraging data and their market share to improve outcomes and lower readmissions for patients who require skilled nursing care,” said Jonathan French, CPHIMS, senior director of quality and value-based care at HIMSS. “By requiring their SNF partners to document care delivery in a structured form, the organization has access to structured data that helps determine which SNFs are the best places for patients to recover. In doing so, they are driving all the SNFs in the Cincinnati market to improve care while lowering readmissions and costs for the health system. For leveraging information and technology to enhance care beyond the walls of their own organization, HIMSS is proud to recognize TriHealth System as a 2018 Davies Enterprise Award winner.”
TriHealth will be recognized during the 2019 HIMSS Global Conference & Exhibition, which takes place February 11-15 in Orlando, Florida.
Learn more about how TriHealth has embraced the value of health information and technology: explore three award-winning use cases.