Getting paid for a high-performing ED
Pay-for-performance programs have become an increasingly popular (and lucrative) way for hospitals to demonstrate their commitment to improving patient care through proven results. Canonsburg General Hospital (CGH) set a goal to participate in Highmark BlueCross Blue Shield’s QualityBLUE Hospital Pay-for-Performance Program, but it first needed to significantly increase patient throughput. The Pennsylvania hospital’s emergency department (ED), which receives approximately 22,000 annual patient visits, implemented EV™ because it wanted a solution that would support improved processes and measure the effectiveness of those processes.
“We thought EV would be the best solution for the department to improve efficiency and focus on what matters most: providing patients with the best care available,” said Jonathan Landis, M.D., CGH medical director. “We additionally chose EV because it was developed specifically for an emergency department rather than being adapted from an enterprise system to work with an emergency department.”
CGH began using the EV Patient Tracking, Physician Documentation and Nurse Documentation modules. Clinicians immediately found that they could document more quickly and thoroughly using EV, and they also used the ED information system (EDIS) to collect relevant data and make processes more efficient.
As a result of improved processes, CGH ED staff began seeing impressive results. Patient length of stay decreased by 21 percent from 280 minutes to 220 minutes, saving visitors an hour of their time and increasing patient satisfaction. Door-to-doctor time decreased by 34 percent from 26 minutes to 17 minutes, allowing patients to be seen faster. Revenue increased by 12 percent as a result of optimized coding and more accurate charge capture through standardized documentation. And the hospital saved more than $150,000 in a five-month period as a result of increased throughput.
Not surprisingly, these impressive outcomes allowed CGH to receive maximum reimbursement (more than $250,000) the first year it entered Highmark’s QualityBLUE Pay-for-Performance Program in the Emergency Department Throughput category. As an added accomplishment, Dr. Landis was invited to present the CGH ED throughput results at the Highmark Best Practices forum.
“The hospital as an entire unit worked collaboratively to develop and maintain the level of operational excellence that EV helped to provide,” said Kim Malinky, CGH CEO.