Lisa Wied, Vice President, Clinical Operations
Gundersen Health System
Gundersen Health System strives to be an industry leader by delivering high-quality, affordable care for its patients. It was difficult to bring meaningful, critical patient outcome and cost metrics together in a straightforward manner aligned with the organization’s vision to drive change in maximizing quality and reducing costs. The health system’s surgeons and other professionals needed the ability to compare outcomes in order to communicate with healthcare organization leaders to challenge current practices.
Gundersen turned to healthcare analytics technology vendor Avant-garde Health and the vendor’s CareMeasurement system to help Gundersen understand its true costs of care, benchmark performance, and pursue opportunities to maximize quality and profitability through accurate and actionable insights.
Gundersen’s Avant-garde data is reviewed regularly by the orthopedic leadership team and is accessible to all surgeons and leaders across the care continuum. On a quarterly basis, surgeons convene to review outcome metrics, reflect on practices that impact results, challenge others’ practices, and determine practice change opportunities and direction. Changes are implemented by the leadership team in response to surgeons’ recommendations.
As a result, same-day physical therapy increased by 68%, and use of higher-cost post-acute facilities decreased by 22%. Cost disparities in supplies also led surgeons to switch to generic bone cement that costs 57% less than alternatives, without sacrificing quality. Insights ultimately helped Gundersen reduce its knee replacement costs by 18% in less than two years. Savings of $1,600 per case was achieved by reducing average length of stay by one day – increasing physical therapy on day of surgery to 2/3 of patients and reducing usage of skilled nursing facilities by 22