Industry White Papers & Insights
Find relevant white papers about the latest research, products and services from health care's leaders.
Architecture and Design | Environmental Services | Finance & Revenue Cycle Management | Health IT | Operations and Performance Excellence | Patient Care | Population Health | Patient Safety and Quality | Physician Issues
Architecture and Design
Sound Masking Solutions in Hospital Environments
Two of the main challenges all hospitals face are a) ensuring patients can rest and recuperate comfortably and b) ensuring patient privacy is protected. Sound masking – the process of adding an unobtrusive background sound to an environment to cover up excess speech noise – is a cost-effective, low impact means for protecting speech privacy at hospitals and effectively solves these two problems. Sound masking raises the ambient noise level of a hospital and the result is that conversational speech is only audible at distances of 10-15 feet. This helps ensure that patients are able to rest better, resulting in a measurable positive impact on HCAHPS scores, and that patient privacy is better protected in reception areas and exam rooms, helping with HIPAA compliance. This white paper delves deep into how sound masking can not only make a hospital more comfortable, private, and productive but how it can also affect a hospital’s bottom line by positively affecting Medicare reimbursements.
How Do You Turn Hospital Quality Data into Insight?
Data-driven quality improvement is one of the cornerstones of modern healthcare. Hospitals and healthcare providers now record, track and monitor data on dozens of individual indicators spanning patient safety, prevention and inpatient care; even a small facility may collect thousands of data points daily. But is all this data really making a difference?
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requires hospitals to report key measures such as adverse events and hospital readmissions in order to qualify for reimbursement. All this data collection provides a treasure trove of data points that hospitals could use to make quality improvement decisions. However, in many hospitals, data collection and reporting is not effectively connected to decision making. In order to drive real and measurable improvement, hospitals need to be able to turn quality indicator data into clear, understandable information and actionable next steps.
Analytical tools such as Battelle WayFinder Q.I. Dashboard can help hospitals better use and understand the data they are already collecting. By putting this data to work, hospitals and other healthcare providers can make decisions on quality improvement initiatives that lead to better outcomes for patients, payers and themselves.
A Framework for EHR Affiliate Strategy
Making electronic healthcare data accessible across a healthcare community continues to be a challenge for healthcare providers. To help address this challenge, many organizations are seeking partnership affiliations to realize the benefits of economies of scale, improved care, and reduced costs.
But a successful affiliate program doesn’t happen overnight. Merging and integrating healthcare organizations and their systems is a complex task that requires planning, investment, resources, and time. Despite these challenges, the potential benefits of a patient-focused EHR system can be worth the effort and costs.
In this white paper, read about the challenges as well as the considerations that can help:
- Smooth the relationship between the host and affiliate
- Lead to better clinician and patient engagement
- Provide financial and regulatory solutions
Inside the Cath Lab: Tracking Supplies, Cutting Costs
In an age of bundled payments, hospitals are under increasing pressure to manage supply costs while providing quality patient care. Automation can help you overcome inventory management challenges that impact your hospital’s efficiency and keep clinicians away from caring for patients, while directly impacting your bottom line.
Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Atlanta, GA invested in RFID technology seven years ago to address critical inventory management issues, and they’re still reaping the benefits.
>Download this article to learn how an automated solution and predictive analytics allows Emory Saint Joseph’s to:
- Eliminate manual processes so clinicians can focus more time on patient care;
- Proactively manage expired, recalled and missing products to support patient safety initiatives;
- Make evidence-based decisions system-wide to balance supply needs, utilization and cost.
Intelligent Health Record Aggregation: Enhancing Efficiency and Patient Satisfaction
Intelligent health record aggregation streamlines external medical record collection, reducing time to first appointment, enhances workflow and leads to higher caregiver and patient satisfaction. This white paper shares the experience of University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center. Through intelligent health record aggregation, the organization achieved:
- Ability to manage high volumes of patients
- Reduction in the barriers of inconvenience and costs
- A complete picture of their patient's health and more
Why the Item Master is the Center of Your Universe
Most provider organizations struggle with inaccurate, outdated and erroneous information. This white paper looks at organizations that are getting down to the root of these issues.
While the item master should be the single source of truth for product and pricing data, most provider organizations struggle with inaccurate, outdated and erroneous information. This 11-page white paper looks at organizations that are getting down to the root of these issues and implementing master data management strategies aimed at not only cleaning up their item masters but also maintaining integrity over time through data synchronization and automation.
Finance & Revenue Cycle Management
Automation to Optimize Receivables in a Changing Payment Landscape
The growth and complexity of newly merged health systems and a tectonic shift in insurance toward high-deductible health plans are challenging providers' efforts to optimize the collection, posting, reporting, and reconciliation processes. Many providers have moved many of their receivables to more than 70% electronic transactions. Although these are high percentage numbers, it doesn't mean the rest of the back office is working optimally.
Download this whitepaper and learn:
- Questions CEOs should ask about their current payment management strategies
- The tools and solutions that allow providers to manage their payer mix and payments in a more efficient manner.
- Five strategies for improving patient relations in the front-office
Operations and Performance Excellence
A Holistic, Integrated Approach to Healthcare Supply Chain
The healthcare supply chain today is complex and costly. Supply chain represents the second largest area of expense for hospitals, consuming approximately 40-55 percent of the average operating budget. Studies have shown that hospitals can avoid between 5-15 percent of that cost through better supply chain practices, thereby increasing operating profits by anywhere from 2-7 percent. Unlike other industries where the supply chain is viewed as a strategic asset, the healthcare supply chain has often been underleveraged - and even neglected. Most healthcare organizations are managing supplies using outdated information technology systems that cannot communicate with one another. As a result, supply chain processes are largely manual with staff keying data into various systems as they produce products, manage inventory, capture its use and trigger replenishment needs.
For decades, experts have pointed to the inefficiencies, costs and waste in the healthcare supply chain as a significant drain on the industry's financial resources. They have urged healthcare organizations to take a holistic, integrated approach to their supply chains where the procurement, management and movement of supplies is facilitated on an enterprise-wide level using an automated and integrated approach. Those that have heeded the experts' advice and implemented technology to build efficient, effective and sustainable supply chains have significantly cut costs and reduced labor, while improving patient care delivery.
Operations and Performance Excellence
Improve ROI for Emergency Psychiatric Services
Psychiatric cases are a growing problem in hospital emergency departments (EDs) and often both the patient and hospital experience sub-optimal outcomes. Nationwide, the average boarding time for psychiatric patients is 8-34 hours. These lengthy delays translate to higher spending for your ED. Also, shorter wait times are better for patients, as long waits can exacerbate their symptoms.
Telemedicine solutions can help you:
- Gain access to board-certified psychiatrists
- Shorten ED wait times
- Improve clinical care and patient outcomes
Operations and Performance Excellence
Making Benchmarks Matter: Identifying True Opportunities for Improvement
With healthcare awash in benchmarks, it's tough to know which ones are most important. And after you figure that out, you have to act on chosen benchmarks while staying focused on patient care.
It’s easy for organizations to misapply financial and quality benchmarks by comparing themselves to a standard and believing the goal is to trim costs or improve quality to hit or exceed the mark. In reality, only a percentage of the variance is the true opportunity for improvement.
To help you sort it out, read our article, which discusses:
- Using the right data and analytics to identify opportunities that matter
- Going beyond regulatory compliance to affect care and stakeholder engagement
- Engaging physicians and other clinicians as partners
Operations and Performance Excellence
Patient Safety and Quality
The Point of Care Ecosystem: Four Benefits of a Fully Connected Outpatient Experience
Disconnected processes are creating barriers that can prevent a well-coordinated patient experience and lead to inefficiencies and human error throughout the continuum of care. This can have a significant impact on diagnosis and treatment of a patient. Learn how healthcare organizations are creating fully connected point of care ecosystems where all the processes, equipment, and caregivers are integrated to help ensure a seamless patient experience. This connected point of care ecosystems also provides a platform where organizations can easily consider and leverage new technologies, incorporate best practices and better meet changing demands while still enhancing quality of care.
A framework for Achieving Clinical Integration
Parrish Medical Center, a 210-bed acute care hospital, describes some of its long term planning processes aimed at continuing to provide patient-centered care to the communities that it serves. Electing to undergo and eventually become the first organization to successfully achieve certification for Integrated Care Certification from The Joint Commission, Parrish demonstrated that it not only could say that it’s providing clinically integrated care, it proved it. Learn how the team prepared to undergo the evaluation, some of the lessons learned and three things organizations should do when undergoing the evaluation.
Reducing Length of Stay & Readmissions for Acute Vertebral Compression Fracture Patients
With an estimated incidence of 700,000 every year, vertebral compression fractures, or VCFs, are the most prevalent consequence of osteoporosis, surpassing hip, wrist or pelvic fractures. Drs. Singer and Sayah of Medstar Georgetown University Hospital explain the hospital and economic implications of treating VCF patients with kyphoplasty vs. nonoperative management, including the potential for kyphoplasty to reduce hospital length of stay (LOS) and readmission rates by nearly half, and increase the likelihood of routine discharge home.
Physician Network Life Cycle: Building the Plan to Evolve Your Network
This whitepaper on the HSG Physician Network Life Cycle provides a framework for tackling appropriate management challenges given the current growth trajectory of your Employed Physician Network, as well as providing a longer-term path for evolving the capabilities of the network to positon it for success in a value-focused healthcare industry. Through the HSG Physician Network Life Cycle, we outline the six stages of evolution for Employed Physician Networks and the capabilities management should be looking to build and ingrain into the organization at each stage. For physician network executives, the keys to successfully evolving the network across the stages of the life cycle are:
- Tailoring management Day-to-Day Actions to the reality of needs of the current stage.
- Performing Next Stage Preparations for developing the competencies that the group must possess to be successful in the next stage of the Life Cycle.
- Distilling down the totality of the actions required into the Network Development Action Plan that ensures both the short-term and long-term needs of the group are being met.
HSG works with health systems across the country to build high-performing physician networks. We want to help your network build the long-term plan that positons it to evolve through the Physician Network Life Cycle and develop the competencies it needs.
Diagnostic Algorithms: Guiding Optimal Test Utilization Management
In today’s fast-paced, dynamic healthcare environment, test utilization management strategies are increasingly at the forefront of efforts to promote cost-effective, efficient delivery of care.
Our latest white paper, Diagnostic Algorithms: Guiding optimal test utilization management, explores the role of clinical algorithms as an integral component of effective utilization management.
The white paper reviews how diagnostic algorithms can help physicians provide swifter, cost-effective care in significant ways:
- Avoiding misdiagnosis
- Reducing the number of laboratory tests and procedures needed
- Decreasing the inconvenience and turn-around time of sequential testing
- Shortening the time-to-diagnosis
- Providing additional information that might affect other aspects of patient healthcare