Customer Success: Floyd Medical Center

December 11, 2011
iVantage Health

Healthcare Customer SuccessFloyd Medical Center was able to cut costs, improve quality, enhance operational excellence, and align and focus its goals using the iVantage (formerly HMC) Clinical iBenchmark. This software-as-a-service (SaaS) tool allowed Floyd to identify off-quality issues and their cost to the facility. It also assisted management in cost-cutting prior to the current economic downturn. As a result, Floyd has maintained quality and kept expenses flat while improving market share.

The Client

Floyd Medical Center’s healthcare system provides a complete continuum of medical care to serve the needs ofTM  Northwest Georgia and Northeast Alabama through 22 physician offices and 5 urgent care facilities. Floyd also offers diagnostic, hospice, behavioral health, and hospital services. The hub of these services is Floyd Medical Center, a 304-bed full-service, acute-care hospital and regional referral center. Floyd is an economic force in the community as well, with over 2,200 employees who provide care in 40 medical specialties.
Floyd Medical Center supports a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence and Joint Commission-accredited programs for stroke and total joint replacement. Additionally, Floyd is a state-designated Level 2 trauma and emergency care center and a Level 1 neonatal intensive care unit. Floyd also has specialty centers for behavioral health, breast health, as well as wound,TM  intensive, and critical care. Other centers offer hyperbarics, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services, inpatient and outpatient surgery, interventional cardiology, newborn care, oncology, pediatrics, and women’s services. It supports these specialties with comprehensive radiology, respiratory,TM  and laboratory services.

The Challenge

Floyd defines its organizational culture by focusing on excellence.  The facility goes well beyond expectations in all areas of the Floyd “Value Compass.” This includes customer service, quality, strategy, finance, and people. Each of these focus areas benefits from the application of Six Sigma methodologies and principles. Teams of leaders and front-line employees are continuouslyTM  finding ways to reduce waste and improve quality of care. However, identifying opportunities for improvement from general ledger applications had proved to be an impediment, requiring manual data compilation and the generation of cumbersome spreadsheets. Additionally, aggregating clinical care data from physicians was prohibitively difficult.

The Solution

In 2005, Floyd adopted the iVantage Functional and Clinical Benchmarks to help leaders identify cost-reduction opportunities. The internet-based interface eases access to a variety of operational and clinical data that are analyzed to discover departmental budget outliers and root causes.  HMC also creates dashboards for monitoring improvements. According to Floyd Vice President Alison Land, TM “iVantage’s benchmarking data also enables Floyd to compare itself to peers and match its performance with industry best practices.”
Enhancing theTM  functionality was the fact that the benchmarks didn’t require excessive hardware, software, consulting, maintenance or licensing costs. iVantage analysts oversaw the data validation process in the TM Benchmark system, which shortened the rollout time,TM  and ensured the project didn’t absorb already stretched internal IT resources.

The Results

Floyd used the benchmarks and other tools, including the Clinical Analyzer, to improve operations and maintain high quality patient care. “It’s not enough to see opportunities at a high level,” says Land. “This gives you the tools to find out where the specific opportunities are, and that is the real value of the iVantage tools and data.” The results fall into the following broad categories:

Spending Reductions

Floyd used the web-based interface to identify specific areas in which the organization could reduce spending ” without impacting patient care. They included:
Nursing – iVantageTM was instrumental in the nursing budgeting process, helping the organization to create financial targets that were tied to an incentive program, resulting in a $3 million savings. “Because of the success with the iVantage benchmarking for nursing salaries, Floyd will begin deploying its iVantage salary target approach in other clinical and ancillary areas, such as surgery, rehabilitation, and behavioral health over the coming year,” says Land.

Marketing and Operations – Floyd slashed $800,000 in marketing and advertising costs while maintaining its regional market share, and actually increased patient volume. In 2009, there was no marked increased in operational spending, but Floyd realized increases in both revenue and operating margin.

Quality improvement

Floyd used the Clinical Analyzer to identify physicians and departments responsible for expensive off-quality conditions, such as pressure ulcers and length of stay (LOS) in specific diagnosis-related groups (DRGs). This significantly impacted the organization in the following ways:

  • Floyd eliminated bedsores over a six-month period.
  • The average LOS and the related costs were significantly reduced for patients in targeted high-LOS DRGs.

Peer Comparisons

Because iVantage factors in operational statistics from other providers of similar size and markets to Floyd, the Floyd staff was comfortable with apples-to-apples comparisons. General ledger, payroll, and volume statistics give HMC analysts the ability to establish fair cost comparisons with adjustments made for inflation and regional wage rates. iVantage also has the capability to connect senior leaders and managers with their counterparts to collaborate and network around process improvement and best practices.

Trusted Numbers

Traceable, accurate data are essential to process improvement. They provide direction, measure progress, and help the organization to identify variants and to set actionable goals. Data also helps senior leaders to demonstrate to physicians, other health care professionals, and managers where their peers are on quality and cost issues. iVantage benchmark reports serve as the basis to help leaders set realistic goals for performance improvement projects.

Selecting Best Opportunities

The Benchmarks and Clinical Analyzer drill-down tool deliver all of the information neededTM  to prioritize the organization’s cost and quality opportunities in a simple, easily accessible, and understandable format. “The drill downs allow for high-level reviews that are needed to strategize and set priorities, but also allow for the deep dives that process improvement teams need to identify root causes and issues that need to be addressed,” Land says. “We love that it tells you exactly what you need for the business justification for a project to be approved.”

Best Practice Takeaway

“The best way to ensure that the data and tools are completely leveraged and that you receive the maximum return on investment is to secure executive-level participation in the benchmark results and the project prioritization process,” Land says. “Executive interest will wane unless consistent feedback of successful achievement is delivered”.

About iVantage

iVantage is the leading provider of actionable performance benchmarking, encompassing quality, cost, productivity, patient satisfaction, span of control, best practices and dashboards. iVantage enables hospital managers to achieve their full potential for excellence.