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Flexible Healthcare Analytics that Grow with the Needs of the Organization

Quick Facts
Organization: Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System
Industry: Healthcare
Revenue: $440.7 million
Number of beds: 263
EHR: MEDITECH
Employees: 1,700
Customer since: 2011
Website: www.svmh.com
Solution: Diver Platform

salinas valley memorial healthcare hospital

Key takeaways

  • Diver Platform provides SVMHS with an executive dashboard that enables decision makers to see critical hospital operations data easily.
  • Business rules and data management capabilities provided by Diver Measure Factory ensure that data across SVMHS is consistent and trusted.
  • SVMHS created a dashboard that enables decision makers to see how the hospital is doing on Medi-Cal’s PRIME initiative measures.
  • SVMHS is expanding its Diver deployment and is looking into how it could be used in better understanding population health.

Background

Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System (SVMHS) is based in Monterey County, Calif., about 100 miles south of San Francisco. The organization’s mission is to provide quality healthcare to its patients and to improve the health and well-being of the community. The hospital strives to be a center of excellence where an inspired team delivers compassionate and culturally sensitive care, outstanding quality, and an exceptional patient experience.

SVMHS is comprised of a 263-bed hospital in Salinas, several specialty centers, and medical clinics. The hospital had more than 10,000 admissions and its ER saw more than 56,000 visitors in 2016.

 

The challenge

The nature of healthcare is rapidly changing, and it’s important that healthcare organizations are equipped to deal with the new realities. As Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System considers the healthcare landscape, it is focusing in on several important areas.

First, with value-based payment models including MACRA and MIPS now starting to be implemented, the hospital’s physician practices need better access to data and reports. Better understanding areas such as patient flow/throughput and revenue cycle management can improve operational efficiencies as physicians move to these new forms of payment.

Second, SVMHS faces unique patient population challenges. The region is an agricultural hot-bed, and thus has a diverse immigrant population living in the area. This population is more prone to diseases such as diabetes and congestive heart failure, which are costly to treat and manage. While SVMHS understands that it needs to focus on “population health,” it’s difficult to navigate the technology landscape since many vendors claim to focus on population health but don’t have the results to back it up.

Third, Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program has its PRIME program (Public Hospital Redesign and Incentives in Medi-Cal), which is a pay-for-performance program for public healthcare systems. These systems must meet certain performance targets and demonstrate continuous improvement in order to earn additional federal funds. As a public district hospital, SVMHS needs to make sure it can meet the PRIME measures.

The goal

SVMHS needed a healthcare analytics platform that would:

  • Enable it to meet its immediate reporting needs, but also be flexible so the organization could add on additional uses as needs arise.
  • Help the organization better understand finances and operations for its medical clinics, as well as physician performance, as new value-based payment models roll out.
  • Allow it to track Medi-Cal’s PRIME metrics and measure its performance on how it is doing on each one.
  • Better understand the health of its patient population and identify high-value opportunities for improvement.

The solution

SVMHS bought Dimensional Insight’s Diver Platform in 2011 as a reporting tool for its MEDITECH EHR. At the time, the health system wanted a flexible, robust reporting system for its data that would provide access to financial and operational information. The organization had considered using an approved MEDITECH reporting tool, but found it provided only a limited report library, whereas SVMHS wanted something that would enable the organization to run its own reports and gain control of its own data.

Diver provides SVMHS with an executive dashboard as part of the Hospital Operations application. This dashboard shows at a quick glance important metrics for key decision makers. This includes data such as the daily census, total admissions, average length of stay, and more. With Diver, SVMHS personnel are able to see a quick snapshot of key aspects of the hospital’s performance. If users have questions about a piece of data, they are able to dive down into the details and explore it further.

“What really prompted us to go with Dimensional Insight versus something else on the market was the value, scalability, and flexibility provided by the solution,” says Audrey Parks, CIO of Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System.

SVMHS is also building a dashboard for the Medi-Cal PRIME initiative. This initiative applies to both the hospital and its medical clinics. The dashboard is tracking various patient measures and helps users identify how the practices and clinics are performing on them. Users can also dive into the data to the patient level to see why specific patients may have fallen through the cracks.

“The dashboard shows our hospital leaders how everyone is performing on the measures and also provides drill-down capabilities when questions arise,” says Tim France, developer at Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System. “Once armed with this data, the hospital can then develop training material for clinics that are not meeting various thresholds for performance.”

In addition to the dashboards and access to operations data, Diver provides SVMHS with powerful data management capabilities that ensure the quality of data and guarantee that users are viewing consistent information across the organization. Dimensional Insight’s Measure Factory, an add-on to Diver Platform, provides a pre-defined set of business rules that powers the Hospital Operations application. These business rules (such as the definition of an “admission”) can be used across financial, clinical, and operational applications and they ensure that all users are looking at a “single version of the truth.”

For SVMHS, this trust is key. “If the dashboard’s off from what people are viewing elsewhere, even if it’s for a legit reason, suddenly it’s dismissed, it’s not trustworthy,” says Parks. “That’s why we needed the business rules provided by Dimensional Insight.”

What’s next

SVMHS is now looking to expand its Diver implementation beyond the Hospital Operations realm. For example, the health system is looking to make its physician practices more data-driven so they can better navigate the value-based care landscape, including new payment models such as MACRA and MIPS.

“Our focus has generally been on the acute side and Meaningful Use, so now we’re looking at our physician practices and this whole other sphere of responsibilities,” says Parks. “Thankfully, we have an ambulatory informatics department we’re collaborating with on this project.”

In addition, Parks is examining ways that the hospital can start to do population health without a heavy investment in a “pop health” solution. “Every time I go to a conference, I keep hearing about population health management, but I want to know who’s actually doing this and what does it mean? How effective has it been? No one can really tell me that,” says Parks.

The system’s mission is not merely to treat medical conditions and disease, but rather to keep people healthy and living well through preventative care and proactive healthcare solutions. Diver can help the hospital advance that goal by identifying high-impact opportunities within the patient population. For example, with Diver, the health system could identify a sub-set of patients, such as diabetes or cardiac patients, and look for various ways to improve the outcomes and reduce the costs of that population.

Lessons learned

All in all, SVMHS is pleased with the flexibility that Diver provides and the ability to provide insight into several different departments in the hospital. “I always give Dimensional Insight first opportunity to satisfy our data analytics needs,” says Parks. “It’s clear that Dimensional Insight has put a lot of effort into development and has produced really top-notch solutions.”