The lack of standardization and integrated medical services has greatly impacted the overall cost of care in academic medical centers (AMCs) across the United States. Independent, ancillary and employed physicians continue to use different clinical approaches for major surgeries, some of which may not have not been fully evaluated through rigorous scientific studies. As a result, many surgeons who recommend surgery, often times do so based on personal preference, subjective opinion or untested theories that may or may not fully correlate with best practices.
With that said, it has never been more important for AMCs to re-evaluate their existing cost structures and consider integrating medical services within their healthcare organizations. Here are a few steps AMCs can take to reduce cost while improving patient outcomes:
- Standardize patient care. Physicians-in-training play a substantial role in direct costs, partly due to ongoing teaching efforts, unnecessary exam orders and tests, research, supply variation and more. Developing a strategy to integrate services, within service lines, can significantly enhance physician engagement, communication, and ultimately reduce costs through the standardization of patient care.
- Reduce surgical supply variation. Teaching hospitals generally report higher inpatient costs per discharge, mainly due to high degrees of variation in surgical supplies from poor resource management and physician preference items. To reduce surgical supply variation, it is important to integrate physician co-management initiatives and variation analytics to monitor and limit the use of high cost surgical supplies.
- Increase operational efficiency. There are many factors that slow down operational efficiency, including late start times, poor block time utilization and increased turnover time, to name a few. With the right combination of integrated services, academic medical centers can bring together independent, ancillary and employed physicians to develop operational standards that drive the best patient outcomes.
- Understand the cost of care. As healthcare costs continue to rise, it is increasingly important to use a proactive approach to identify, manage and reduce the cost of care. Healthcare analytics have become a viable tool to quickly identify variables affecting high cost cases to develop and implement targeted integrative services that can reduce cost and improve patient care.
Clinical variation, poor resource management and operational inefficiencies are plaguing many academic medical institutions across the country. However, using the right combination of integrated services will ensure that your academic medical center is fully prepared to standardize care, optimize supply utilization, and ultimately reduce the overall cost of care.
Dynafios offers a unique physician alignment program that integrates physicians and clinical services across multiple locations to deliver improved service line results. Dynafios C2i ( or Combination to Integration), is the next generation of physician alignment consulting services that delivers sustainable results, backed by Dynafios 4CAST healthcare analytics. By leveraging real-time data, Dynafios can create sustainable change that standardizes and optimizes clinical outcomes while improving financial performance. To learn more, email us or give us a call at 877.858.3262.