To identify opportunities and drive change, Mercy Health in Cincinnati produces a robust monthly analytics report that features measures the system wants to improve and sends it to all employees. “Our organization does a good job of monitoring cost and variation in practice across our facilities,” says Rebecca Sykes, senior vice president of resource management and chief information officer (pictured). “Where we see variation, we start asking a lot of questions.”
Blood utilization is an example of how analytics can drive operational and cost improvements. As the operational team looked at costs related to blood, they noted that some hospitals had low costs while others had much higher costs. The group found that physicians were in the habit of ordering two units of blood every time they placed an order, even though research says patients typically need one. By adding a new protocol and order set in the electronic health record to default to one unit, physicians had to make a physical change to go against the default. That change led to $8 million in captured efficiencies.