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Perioperative Analytics Bolsters NY Hospital

December 7, 2010
by Jennifer Prestigiacomo
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Hospital reduces OR turnaround time, implements block scheduling

Arnot Ogden Medical Center, in a path to become a HIMSS Analytics Stage 7 hospital, embarked on a project to update its perioperative IT and streamline its surgical services. Arnot Ogden Medical Center in Elmira, N.Y. is an independent, not-for-profit, 256-bed tertiary medical facility with more than 300 physicians from over 50 specialties. Arnot Ogden has received HIMSS Analytics Stage 6 recognition and is now working toward Stage 7, which would create a true paperless patient record environment. Since replacing its Mediware (Lenexa, Kan.) OR system with Surgical Information Systems (Alpharetta, Ga.), the hospital has seen increased efficiency through reduced turnover times between procedures from 40 minutes to 27 minutes, a 32.5 percent improvement. The hospital has also been able to optimize block scheduling in the OR by analyzing the precise utilization rates of surgical suites to better assign block schedule times. HCI Associate Editor Jennifer Prestigiacomo spoke with Hazel Boyd, Arnot Ogden’s business director of perioperative services about the Medical Center’s customized dashboard and lessons learned during implementation of the new system.

Healthcare Informatics: What led you to your particular vendor choice for your perioperative system?

Hazel Boyd: Surgical Information Systems (SIS) resonated with us [because of their] user-friendliness, forward thinking, key features (preference cards, wizards, interconnectivity), data reporting capabilities, and analytics. Their sales team created a familial sense and took pride in their product and demonstrated a willingness and desire to partner and grow.

HCI: Do physicians at Arnot Ogden do direct post-op reporting into the perioperative system?

Boyd: No. Our physicians dictate into a phone and then the transcriptionists type up the record and that is entered into a different program that is acceptable by QuadraMed’s Computerized Patient Record [QPCR, our EMR]. So that is a separate PDF, and it just goes into a separate section where all interfaced documents reside.

HCI: Do you have any metrics for data entry error reduction since switching from paper-based systems?

Boyd: We do not. We actually switched from one electronic documentation record to another electronic record. We were able to extract data out of the old system using Crystal Reports. This is now viewed in analytics through the use of SIS.

HCI: Tell me more about your customized dashboard. What KPIs does it contain? Is it real-time?

Boyd: We have several items that are outlined in our customized dashboard. Tabs within analytics to help us review data and develop action plans associated with them. Currently the KPIs that we pay the most attention to are utilization of our ORs (capacity vs. utilization), OR volume (cases vs. minutes), OR volumes by service, block utilization, and turnover time. These are metrics that we are always interested in exploring and developing action plans to improve the processes. This is not a real time system. Instead, we can review snapshots or all documentation from the previous day back to the past (day one of implementation). There are filters that allow us to drill down or narrow down to the pertinent information as necessary. We have the capability to go local or global with stats.

HCI: What other efficiencies have been realized besides reduced turnover times?

Boyd: We have been able to recognize cost variance between services and surgeon practices. We have a clearer picture on what the cost impact of change can create. We have provided ourselves with more predictable models for change using the system. We have begun to hold surgeons accountable for poor block utilization. We have used the system to create consistent documentation practices.

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