This is a key area of healthcare, but is also one of the most difficult for hospitals to manage due to its exceptional complexity, diverse data and problematic time-series challenges. As a result, very few hospitals have made a dent – despite this representing a two billion dollar problem PER hospital system for large providers. If the number sounds outrageous, consider that the largest 10 hospital systems average $22B in annual revenue and that 30% of all healthcare can be attributed to waste. That is over $6B per system. If you attribute a third of that to manageable variation, a conservative estimate, then you are talking about $2B per hospital system.
A billion here, a billion there, and soon enough you are talking about real money. Money that can transform the healthcare system in the United States. The work that Mercy is doing on this front promises to do just that.
It starts with looking at the hospital’s own data – not that of “peer hospitals” or even “leaders” in the field. Changing healthcare starts within the system, with the doctors and patients. Here Mercy applied powerful new techniques to accelerate the development of data-driven pathways by looking at the variation – both good and bad, for specific procedures within the system. It then used a combination of machine driven insights and clinical expertise to craft powerful standards of care that transform the patient experience as well as the economics of care. From Mercy’s press release on the award:
“Thanks to the revolutionary approach, Mercy has reduced mortality rates by 30 percent or more for patients treated on a pathway, and costs have shrunk by roughly $800 per case, resulting in $14 million saved in Fiscal Year 2016.”
Just as importantly as the care pathways is the adoption of them. Mercy’s adherence rates are among the highest in the industry because their practitioners know the care pathways come from the best work being done across the system.