How much hospital capacity can reducing length of stay generate?

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Hershey Medical Center has been steadily improving performance across the continuum of care with the support of actionable analytics from Avant-garde Health for both joints and spine.

On our December 8th webinar, special guest Dr. Chip Davis, Chief of Hip and Knee Arthroplasty at Hershey Medical Center, explained how his team was able to achieve a $6,000 per patient cost reduction in hip and knee replacements. He detailed the action steps that were implemented to impact change. They paid particular attention to analytics focused on average length of stay, supply cost variation, and high-cost post-acute care settings.

According to Dr. Davis, “A lot of this data, we could never get before.” He explained that certain departments sometimes provided sporadic access to summary data, but there was no centralized dashboard where, on demand, physicians and hospital leadership could review their performance at a granular level. They now have it with one intuitive platform.

He also explained the value of being in a cohort of like-minded physicians where they could share best practices, in addition to comparing themselves against national benchmarks for each metric. For example, he said they now have transparency into how well they measure up against their peers, whether it be in OR times or implant costs and dozens of other measures related to quality and profitability.

In addition to cost savings, Dr. Davis’s presentation includes improvements in process metrics which helped inform protocols for optimized patient care. “The initial goal was to improve the patient experience,” said Dr. Davis.  “We thought that we could do better to help our patients recover faster with fewer complications.” They implemented a Rapid Recovery Program with the intent of managing pain and reducing length of stay. Avant-garde’s tool was used to measure progress and track improvements across a variety of care and cost metrics, while making sure cost reductions did not reduce quality. As data showed they were becoming more efficient, Hershey also experienced improved readmission rates and complication rates. 

Most notably, Dr. Davis outlined cost savings associated with the analytics they used. For reduced length of stay – because beds are opened earlier – the additional admissions capacity is estimated at $4.3 million annually in additional margin. For managing supply costs, he discussed capping supply contract prices which resulted in a savings of more than $200,000 to date with one vendor. And discharging more patients to home resulted in a post-acute care cost reduction of approximately $4,000 per case in addition to the $2,000 per case in inpatient cost reductions they achieved.

To learn more about how Hershey Medical Center leveraged trusted analytics to improve patient care and reduce costs, fill out the form below for instant access to the recording.

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