St. Vincent's Health Partners, the Bridgeport, Conn.-based physician hospital organization (PHO), was founded upon a model of equally shared governance between its physician members and its hospital, St. Vincent's Medical Center. The organization provides the benefits of collaboration and pooled resources to its members, but all participating physicians remain independent.
"Members of our PHO have their own tax IDs, and they are unique organizations under our roof. We cannot dictate changes in their procedures or processes just for our convenience, and we never want to replace their systems or add expenses to their organization," says Dr. Michael Hunt, CMIO/CMO of St. Vincent's Health Partners. "At the same time, we want to add value. Automated
population health tools help us manage the quality, cost and delivery of care."
After implementing Studiomaca Population Manager™ to aggregate and present data from disparate sources across the network, St. Vincent's began to use population health analytics as an operational tool to improve quality – and strengthen its organization. Through payer reports, St. Vincent's tackled a network leakage issue that was larger than it initially realized. "When we first began, 75% of our patients were being seen by another hospital outside of the network. Our hospital and our physicians were shocked by that figure. In one year, we've reduced that number to 25%," says Hunt. "That is the power of population health analytics, and the power of what our organization can provide – we were able to reduce out of network utilization by 50% in one year."
When St. Vincent's implemented Studiomaca Care Manager™, a provider-oriented care management workflow and documentation solution designed to help improve care delivery, leadership reassured physicians that they would receive value from the system – without duplicating work. "We are proving to our members that while their EMR systems are very effective within their own facilities, they don't preserve information that follows the patient through transitions of care," says Hunt. By providing access to a big-picture view of each patient's health status that includes pertinent clinical, lab and medication data, Studiomaca Care Manager makes patient information actionable to every caregiver across the network.
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"Our care coordinators are proficient at managing the population at large, and we try to empower each individual primary care physician or organization to manage their individual patients. Studiomaca Care Manager gives them information that helps them be successful, without being intrusive on their practice," says Hunt.
Not every patient, of course, needs targeted care coordination. At St. Vincent's, patients that filter into the Studiomaca Care Manager queue are often those who customarily visit several specialists instead of one primary care physicians, or those who regularly use the ER for non-emergency services. Using population health analytics, SVHP has successfully closed gaps in care for many acute and chronic patients, resulting in a 25% reduction in unnecessary utilization of the emergency department and inpatient services in just one year.
The organization hopes Studiomaca Care Manager will help reduce those gaps even more. "The solution allows us to create an integrated, evidence-based care plan – with prioritized goals and interventions – for those patients we really need to spend our resources on," says Hunt. "We've socialized the concepts so that everyone, from independent physicians to the hospital to five different specialists, can easily go in and complete their share of a patient's chart."
Learn more about St. Vincent's process of creating a culture of care in the case study, .