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Allina applies analytics to patient data to save $45 million over 5 years

By examining data on care variation and outcomes, the health system was able to reduce length of stay for cardiovascular care, saving money.

Susan Morse, Managing Editor

Credit: Allina HealthCredit: Allina Health

Allina Health System has realized more than $45 million in performance improvement savings to its bottom line over the past five years.

The large integrated delivery system of 13 hospitals and 82 clinics in Minnesota achieved these goals through a renewed focus in cardiovascular care across the system, according to cardiologist Craig Strauss, MD, medical director of Quality, Innovation and Outcomes.

Strauss and Clinical Program Director Pam Rush will speak at HIMSS18 in Las Vegas.

Allina Health's Minneapolis Heart Institute Center for Healthcare Delivery Innovation addressed population health issues, reduced clinical variation, tested new processes and leveraged an enterprise data warehouse.

The data warehouse incorporates an estimated 75 sources of patient information, including from inpatient and outpatient electronic health records. Other sources of information come from cost accounting and satisfaction surveys, which are then linked to look at cost and outcomes simultaneously, 

"Many different projects roll up in that $45 million," Strauss said of the savings. 

Physicians and clinicians looked at an estimated 50 projects to identify opportunities to monitor and improve quality of care and assess the financial impact.

For example, atrial fibrillation occurs in about 25 to 35 percent of patients who have vascular surgery, according to Strauss. 

"We looked at our data to understand the financial and length of stay and quality impact," Strauss said. "There's about a two-and-a-half day increase for patients with post-op defibrillation, with an associated $8,000 in cost for each patient."

They put together a nurse-driven protocol to manage patients and then tracked outcomes, the length of stay and variations in care management. 

"The most impressive findings are the changes associated with length of stay in the hospital," Strauss said. "We're fixing the problems sooner so they can go home."

Payment models include bundled payments for cardiovascular and valve surgery and percutaneous coronary intervention stent placement, Strauss said. 

"We have a lot of patient characteristic data," he said. "Where we've engaged in accountable care, it's more robust. We participated in Pioneer and now Next Generation."

"How data and analytics can improve CV quality and outcomes," will be held at 11:30 a.m. March 7 in Delfino 4004 at the Venetian Convention Center in Las Vegas.

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Twitter: @SusanJMorse
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