Based in Chicago, Rush SurgiCenter is a joint venture between Rush University Medical Center and two physician-owned practices: Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush and University Pain Centers.
Rush SurgiCenter is a multi-specialty, joint venture ASC in Chicago that prides itself on delivering the best outpatient surgical experience possible to its patients through best practices and an uncompromising dedication to quality and service. The joint venture will open a separate ASC facility in Oak Brook, IL in early 2019. Reliance on spreadsheets for performance analysis and generation of reports for the ASC’s board and partnership was stifling its director’s ability to drive evidence-supported decisions. Challenges included:
“I was taking data from our business management system, exporting it to a spreadsheet and spending a lot of time creating grids, graphs, and charts to help identify and analyze our trends,” said Wendy StarkRiemer, director of Rush SurgiCenter. “This information was important for us to make key decisions, but I was pretty certain my superiors were wondering why they were paying me to spend so much time essentially making data.”
Stark-Riemer also experienced frustration in her efforts to improve the ASC’s operations. “When board members posed questions about issues like where we stood on days to bill, how money was flowing into the ASC, and the costs associated with our different surgeons, I needed to either speak off the cuff or spend my day finding the data.”
At the recommendation of a new administrator hired by Stark-Riemer, she researched SIS Analytics™. This web-based analytics solution from Surgical Information Systems (SIS) includes robust features such as role based dashboards, industry-standard key performance indicators, and an easy-to-understand graphical user interface. It is designed to support an ASC’s efforts to drive operational efficiencies, enhance revenue growth, and achieve quality outcomes.
“I would describe SIS Analytics as a ‘decision’ tool,” Stark-Riemer said. “It’s nice to see information about your ASC, but if you can’t drill into it further and feel confident about what the information is telling you about your performance, you ultimately can’t make good, educated decisions. SIS Analytics has become an integral part of our day-to-day operation and has become critical in this age of healthcare where you need to truly understand how your business is functioning so you can make decisions off that information.”
Stark-Riemer discovered SIS Analytics at an opportune time. “It gives me so much of my day back since I no longer need to manipulate cells of information. With an electronic method of performing the data analysis process, my time is spent using my brain to make assertions, run the data on those assumptions, and then execute decisions based on what I learn rather than moving figures around for hours only to get an incomplete picture.”
The insight delivered from SIS Analytics has allowed Stark-Riemer to achieve notable improvements throughout her ASC, including helping with one of her toughest challenges: case scheduling. “Case durations are a big area of focus for us,” she says. “You always have some surgeons who believe they complete their cases faster than they actually do. When you try to speak with them but only have anecdotes, you will often face pushback. With a click of a button, I can now show our surgeons their case time by date and procedure, how long the patient was in the room, and how long operating took.”
This information leads to productive discussions. “We can now assess what actually transpired,” Stark-Riemer says. “Was a delay caused because our team wasn’t ready for the surgeon or the surgeon wasn’t ready? Did a patient have difficult biology that slowed down the process? Does the surgeon not like the equipment in the ASC? Based on what we learn, we can make changes to help reduce case times and then plan around these more accurate figures. When we know how long it should take for our surgical team to complete cases, we can optimize our schedule. This helps avoid delays, which negatively impact patient satisfaction, and allows us to schedule the maximum and appropriate number of cases each day.”
ASC analytics has provided Rush SurgiCenter with tools and capabilities to more effectively analyze its revenues and profitability as well as assist with budget planning. These capabilities assist ASC staff with preparing materials for presentation and discussion with the ASC’s board and partnership for and in between scheduled board meetings. Furthermore, the tools help the ASC’s management make better informed decisions for the center.
Stark-Riemer says she’s looking forward to leveraging SIS Analytics when Rush Oak Brook Surgery Center opens in 2019. “We will be growing our business in this new center and reinventing our current center. I am going to make decisions relying heavily on analytics. The software will also allow me to analyze and compare the performances of both ASCs from a single account. This will be such a huge time saver and really help with management of both ASCs. That should be a compelling reason why anyone with multiple sites should consider SIS Analytics."
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