February 07 2012
HIMSS12: Reducing never events through the use of health IT
Centers operates one of Kansas City’s largest” quality safety net” hospitals,
where we provide care for a high number of lower-income patients, as well as
those without insurance. This care often goes uncompensated. In fact, we
provided more than $108 million in uncompensated care over the course of the
fiscal year in 2010. That’s a big number, and is one reason why we’re
constantly looking for ways to improve the quality and efficiency of the care
we provide to our patients.
If a patient develops certain conditions while in a
hospital, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Services (CMS) will not pay for treatment. These are known as “never”
events in health care, and include conditions like pressure ulcers, venous thromboembolisms
(VTEs) and events like patient falls. Monitoring patients and preventing these
conditions and events from occurring, therefore, is a priority — especially for
budget-conscious organizations like ours.
We’ve been able to use the data collected from our EHR
system over the course of care, along with Cerner Millennium Lighthouse, a
data analysis system, to accurately track, monitor and treat these conditions
in a way that’s impacting our bottom line. In fact, we were able to save nearly
$1.7 million over a 16-month period, using the system to:
- Decrease patient pressure
ulcers by 32 percent, saving an estimated $1.39 million
- Decrease patient falls by
28 percent, saving $81,491
- Avoid 19 VTE incidents,
saving an estimated $214,628
Reducing the number of VTE incidents also has a direct
correlation to saving patient lives.
According to a recent study published in Circulation, one-in-three VTEs become a pulmonary embolism (PE) and
one-in-five PEs result in death within a year. Based on these numbers, we
avoided 5 PEs and one patient death. Over five years, this will average out to
be 25 PEs prevented and five lives saved.
For organizations like TMC, Lighthouse provides tools, process maps, reference data, actionable
content, reporting and other materials help provide evidence-based
interdisciplinary care. I like to say the system helped move us beyond simply
transitioning from paper to electronic records. This system helps us use the
data we capture through the course of care in a meaningful way.
John Bluford, our CEO, has always said that, when he took
the job in 1999, he wasn’t out to run a hospital for poor people. He set out
first to create a quality-driven organization. As such, our goal is always to
provide the highest quality of care possible. Pursuing that goal has helped us
save money and, more importantly, lives.
Truman Medical Center
was recently featured in the Kansas City Star for their innovative work.
Mitzi Cardenas is an
information technology executive with more than 18 years in the healthcare IT
industry. She currently serves as the Sr.
Vice President, Strategy Business Development and Performance Integration at
Truman Medical Centers (TMC), a two-hospital, not-for-profit health system located
in Kansas City, Missouri.
her current role, Cardenas provides leadership to the organization in
developing leading clinical and administrative information systems and
technology. Since her arrival in 2008,
Ms. Cardenas has worked with the organizational leadership to execute an 18-month
quality-focused plan to complete the roll-out of an electronic medical record. From this effort, TMC has achieved the Stage
Six designation of the HIMSS Analytics EMRAM. TMC has recently received Most Wired destination. Mitzi is also co-chair
of the Technology and Operations Workgroup for the Missouri Health Connection,
a role she has held since 2010.