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11/4/2009
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Health Care Provider Improves Performance With Metrics

Presbyterian Healthcare Services uses Actuate performance management software in pursuit of the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award.

On the business side, Presbyterian Healthcare uses Actuate's software to measure operating margins and supply costs. Employee turnover is measured against expectations for each department--some departments, like housekeeping, have higher turnover rates than others, like the IT department; that's expected and accounted for. Likewise, the hospital experiences regular, seasonal fluctuations in turnover, which are taken into account in the scorecard.

The hospital posts its performance scores on its Web site, in areas such as breast cancer screening, diabetes control, and health plan member satisfaction, using the Internet publishing tools that come with the scorecard software.

The software costs $25,000 per year, with a concurrent user license, and requires two employees to run it. Presbyterian Healthcare has 750 active users who can access the software and make changes, although 9,000 employees can view the data but not make changes.

Ironically, because the software measures 2,900 parameters, boiling that down to one or two metrics for overall performance is overwhelming. However, Payne points to a few scores that demonstrate the hospital's improvement.

The hospital's pharmaceuticals department was able to reduce the time spent filling out paperwork by 53 hours per month--about 30-45 minutes per person. It also saw a 12% increase in improvement measured across 105 metrics during the past year. The health care provider has seen a steady improvement in scores in critical areas such as patient safety, mortality, heart attack care, congestive heart failure care, and surgical infection prevention.

And how's the Baldridge award going? Still a work in progress, Payne said. They had another visit this year that went well, and they're optimistic they'll get the award soon, she said.

Blue Cross of Northeast Pennsylvania, the University of Louisville School of Medicine, and a range of large and small healthcare providers are using mobile apps to improve care and help patients manage their health. Find out how. Download the report here (registration required).

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