Hospital for Special Surgery first orthopedic hospital to win HIMSS Davies Award

HSS instituted clinical pathways – procedure-specific, post-op order sets - to establish best practices, coordinating and standardizing care.
By Diana Manos
11:11 AM

New York City-based Hospital for Special Surgery, the first specialty hospital to win a HIMSS Davies Award for Excellence. has found a way to use teamwork and health IT to improve processes and care outcomes.

With nearly 19,000 annual inpatient surgeries, requiring close bed utilization monitoring, HSS leadership used to receive operational reports four times a day using manual data collection, but this posed significant operational challenges, and length of stay adherence was also lacking.

To remedy the situation, HSS instituted clinical pathways – procedure-specific, post-op order sets. These pathways established best practices, by coordinating and standardizing care, according to HSS. The pathways are made up of time-based goals and milestones for the interdisciplinary care of defined patient groups, ensuring standardized care across these groups. The pathways also include LOS adherence as part of the performance goals.

Many healthcare organizations wrestle with patient volume challenges on a regular basis, requiring close monitoring of bed utilization.

Once HSS began to address bed management and LOS through a multipronged approach that included EHR enhancements and new reporting capabilities – including a capacity management dashboard – capacity improved significantly, hospital officials say.

There are a variety of care coordination technologies on the health IT marketplace. Vendors include Cipherhealth, eQHealth, GSI Health, Imprivata, Microsoft, Optum and pMD.

We reported last month, for instance, that Penn Medicine used care coordination tech, TrekIT, to reduce LOS and readmissions. According to preliminary findings by TrekIT, the company’s care coordination technology helped Penn Medicine achieve a 50 percent reduction in pneumonia readmissions, a 7 percent reduction in risk-adjusted length of stay, and a 9 percent improvement in HCAHPS scores.

Groups using the technology during clinical rounds were able to access real-time data on their patients 50 percent more often than teams that didn't, while spending 25 percent less time logging into their devices.

Another success story, is Cedar View Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center, a skilled nursing facility in Methuen, Massachusetts, that shifted from piecing together a patient’s encounter history from discharge records and verbal summaries from patients and their families to PatientPing, a technology which provides real-time alerts from hospitals, emergency departments and post-acute care providers every time a patient goes through a transition of care.

The vendor also supplies key clinical data that is valuable for placing a patient’s situation in context, as well as contact information for their healthcare providers. The technology allowed Cedar View to trim LOS for the average Medicare Advantage patient by three to five days.

Diana Manos is a Washington, D.C.-area freelance writer specializing in healthcare, wellness and technology. 

Twitter: @Diana_Manos
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Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication. 

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