Franciscan Alliance is one of the largest Catholic healthcare systems in the Midwest with 13 hospital campuses, 20,000 employees and a number of nationally recognized Centers of HealthCare Excellence in Indiana, Illinois and Michigan.
To proactively address the challenges of healthcare reform, Franciscan Alliance sought to transform care processes and reduce costs at a more rapid pace. Working collaboratively with Huron, they developed the Franciscan Stewardship Initiative. As part of that effort, they sought to centralize and optimize clinical documentation processes.
Huron’s expertise and processes allowed us to move rapidly to a new level,” said Donna Phalen, System Director, Revenue Capture and Charging Compliance. “In a short period of time, we went from good performance to leading-practice performance, delivering substantial financial results.”
Clinical documentation functions had developed inconsistently across hospitals in the Franciscan Alliance system. Huron collaborated with leadership, physicians and staff at nine hospitals in three regions to create a system-wide, standardized clinical documentation improvement (CDI) process and tracking solution. The engagement provided a $17 million annually recurring revenue enhancement while increasing staff satisfaction and improving the case mix index.
Increasing accountability: The engagement implemented consistent metrics for clinical documentation functions in all nine hospitals, creating an accountable work culture across the system. Huron’s team also enhanced and optimized the system’s existing CDI tools, increasing productivity. Training and mentoring at each facility led to increased performance and improved staff satisfaction.
Standardizing processes: Huron implemented a standardized CDI process and tracking program across all nine hospitals. The engagement provided a consistent and sustainable approach to record review, decision-making, query generation and communication with medical staff.
Engaging physicians: The team worked with physicians across the system, meeting with more than 300 physicians in less than three months to gain their buy-in, expand their knowledge base and develop champions. Physician engagement improved the case mix index by better identifying the severity of illness, the risk of mortality and the level of resource consumption related to care delivery.
Ensuring sustainability: The engagement’s collaborative approach with managers, staff and physicians, combined with training and improved processes, allowed Franciscan Alliance to create a high-performance work culture. This ensures that the results will be sustainable.
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