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Predictive analytics help Atlantic Health save $70 million in labor, operational costs

The hospital system maximized patient outcomes and reduced in overtime, Chief Nursing Officer MaryPat Sullivan will explain at HIMSS16.
By Jessica Davis
08:42 PM
The Atlantic Health System-run Morristown Hospital.

Atlantic Health cut operational costs $70 million in three years by effectively using predictive analytics, according to MaryPat Sullivan, chief nursing officer at Overlook Medical Center in Summit, New Jersey.

“We have so many IT tools in the hospital setting,” Sullivan said, “but they’re only good if they actually get adopted."

Overlook is part of the five-hospital Atlantic Health system. Sullivan spearheads healthcare literacy, diversity, and implementation of programs for pre-hospitalization, acute care and care transitions in the nursing department. When Overlook began its EHR transition, Sullivan’s team interviewed staff members to determine what data meant for them. While Sullivan thought culture change would hinder implementation, her staff actually embraced the transition.

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“It’s a real find that staff were not only believing in the data, but were making decisions based on it,” she said.

Sullivan will deliver a presentation titled “Reining in Labor Costs with Predictive Analytics,” at HIMSS16 later this month.

Sullivan’s team spent a lot of time educating staff to help with the transition, she said, and found nurses felt “empowered to control their environment and to be good stewards to plan and evaluate.”

Her team used business analytics to predict hospital productivity and analyze labor costs. By comparing data from previous years, Sullivan could create the best possible schedules to reduce costs and get the most from her staff.

“We took the budget and the business analytics and married them,” Sullivan added. “It gives staff the control over their working environment and work in a way to maximize patient outcomes.”

Even though it’s only Atlantic Health System’s first year with the data, there’s already been a big reduction in overtime and premium usage.

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“There’s a million moving parts to this, but in terms of data, we’ve seen a quarter of a day length of stay less, and earlier morning discharges,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan’s team is working toward the next steps of using the data to benefit the health system and apply the data concepts to other departments, like critical care.

The session “Reining in Labor Costs with Predictive Analytics” is scheduled for March 2 from 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. in the Sands Expo Convention Center Palazzo E.

Twitter: @JessiefDavis

This story is part of our ongoing coverage of the HIMSS16 conference. Follow our live blog for real-time updates, and visit Destination HIMSS16 for a full rundown of our reporting from the show. For a selection of some of the best social media posts of the show, visit our Trending at #HIMSS16 hub.