Overview

Blessing looked to CDB in 2015 to help them develop risk-adjusted data to drive improvement projects with like comparison groups.

Member Profile

Blessing Health System includes two hospitals, a physician group, a four- year nursing education program, a foundation and a group of medical specialty businesses. The 307-bed system serves a large, rural geographic region. Blessing Hospital was recognized in U.S. News & World Report’s 2016-17 hospital rankings for its care of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart failure patients, and received a grade of “A” for patient safety from the Leapfrog Group in 2016.

Challenge

What do you do when the clinical analytics solution in which your health system has  invested time  and  money just isn’t the right fit? It was nearly a year before Blessing Health System could access data through its former tool. Logistically, it was difficult  to access and  use.  Uploading information was complex and  customer service levels  didn’t meet the health system’s expectations.

Solution

The Blessing team was introduced to Vizient™  Clinical Data Base (CDB) at a conference, but  was naturally hesitant that the solution could live up to all that it promised. Now that the team has  been hands-on with CDB for nearly two years, Lance Privett, director of performance excellence and  medical staff office, said there was no cause for concern. “What we witnessed in that demonstration was true. CDB really  does do all of that in real life,” he said.

Vizient CDB is an industry-leading performance improvement solution that allows clinical leaders to focus their improvement efforts, realize improvements faster and  sustain improvements longer than any other offering on the market.

Blessing looked to CDB in 2015 to help them develop risk-adjusted data to drive improvement projects with like comparison groups. Three primary insights necessitated the change to CDB:

  • Blessing’s current data process wasn’t meeting its needs
  • Administrators wanted transparent, risk-adjusted data
  • Administrators wanted to be able to compare Blessing with like hospitals and know which health care  organizations they were comparing against

CDB and  the Vizient team impressed from  the start, beginning with a user- friendly implementation process that took a mere eight weeks. “From a contractual perspective, it was seamless — and  it’s not always that way,” said Privett, who added that CDB has  excellent security measures in place. “In the past, setting up the backbone just to access our files took a long time,  so a key part of this for us was having an easy transition to get our data to Vizient. Honestly, it was a breath of fresh air compared to our previous experience.” Heather Girouard, clinical database coordinator, agrees. “Vizient was always quick to respond to my concerns and  emails, and  we had  weekly  calls involving the right team members to address our issues,” she  said.  “With our previous vendor, we were kind of on our own to solve our issues. But Vizient worked with us and  spoke in a language we understood. They did everything they could to speed along implementation, and  we weren’t waiting around for solutions.”

Results

Regular benchmarking and  goal-setting are  top priorities for Blessing, so when CDB began delivering actionable insight within  eight weeks, the team was thrilled. The transparent, risk-adjusted data from  CDB helped Blessing hone in on opportunity areas such  as readmission and  mortality, while also ensuring that it sustained improvements already achieved. CDB publishes the risk-adjustment methodology used to define severity of illness  and  risk of mortality, making it a more impactful and  trusted resource because it removes any questions about data validity.

Transparent, risk-adjusted data of CDB enables:

  • Easy report access — All team members to log in and  build, run and  validate reports. “Our previous system was so cumbersome that only a few people ran reports, and  it was difficult  to understand the data you were getting out  of it,” said Girouard. Gerri Buss, process improvement specialist, agrees. “If I want to look at a certain element, I can slice and  dice it the way I want to for my deeper dive versus having to ask someone else  to do it. That’s a huge advantage for me.”
  • Apples-to-apples comparisons — CDB allows members to know specifically which hospitals they’re comparing themselves against, a quality that’s proven extremely important to Blessing. “Both Gerri and  I have reached out  to other hospitals regarding projects we’re working on, and  it’s neat to see that everybody else  is working on the same things we are,”  said Privett. “This also helps us validate data because we’re relying on this data to establish our targets and  goals. So we can show  anyone who challenges that data that yes, it’s possible because these other hospitals are  doing  it. It’s a great way for us to stretch ourselves.”
  • Process redesign of ongoing professional practice evaluation (OPPE)/focused professional practice evaluation (FPPE) — Blessing is redesigning its OPPE process now that it can drill down  to physician-level data with the CDB Physician Insight component. The tool helps members satisfy The Joint Commission’s OPPE/FPPE reporting requirements. “I like CDB’s transparency, the level of detail and  how it makes the comparisons, particularly in situations where we may have only one  provider doing  a particular service line or type of procedure,” said Kim Pitcher, data analyst. “Being able to provide physicians with comparative data regarding their quality of care  is extremely beneficial to them, and  I’m excited to give them data around which they can really  take action.”
  • Maximize use  of the Community Q&A Report — Blessing now has  a balanced scorecard with a transparent methodology comparing them to like hospitals with specific metric areas that also tie to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services measures. “The quality and  accountability performance scorecard is our challenge to be better,” said Buss. “This is as close  to live data as we can get, and  it puts us in a competitive mode to be a five-star organization.”

CDB will help ensure that Blessing sustains its clinical improvements, even as the team moves on to other endeavors. “If you don’t have data, then you don’t know if you’re staying in place  or if you’re moving, but  we have the data we need with CDB,” said Privett. “Keeping things valid over time  is extremely important to us, especially because we’re a Six Sigma organization.”

Blessing team members continue to learn more about the solution’s capabilities from  the Vizient Performance Management Advisory Services team and  by attending Vizient clinical conferences. “Our performance improvement adviser is always there and  she  really  took the time  to get to know our organization,” said Privett. “She points us in the right direction and  explains things thoroughly, and she’s been a big part of our success.”

The Blessing team came away  from  a recent clinical conference inspired and excited to put  new ideas to work. “The conference was great, and  it really opened our eyes to other ways  we can use  CDB data — just by seeing how other organizations improved their processes and  quality scores,” said Girouard.

CDB was the right choice  for Blessing, according to Privett. “And I would do it again,” he said.  “We’ve showcased the power of Vizient throughout our organization by sharing our results and  reports with senior leaders and  showing them how the solution works. If someone were to ask me, I would say that if you don’t have CDB already, you should definitely consider it.”

The quality and accountability performance scorecard is our challenge to be better. This is as close to live data as we can get, and it puts us in a competitive mode to be a five-star organization.
Gerri BussProcess Improvement Specialist, Blessing Health System