AH: Case Study 1

Acute Health System

Midwestern Catholic Health System, 2003 – Capitol Consulting was first introduced in a couple 200-bed hospitals in 2003, the initiative consisted of identifying and implementing $12M in staffing improvements. The region had a productivity management system and philosophy consistent with the industry at the time where the goal was to be at “100%” on a measurement of Worked Hours per Unit of Service. As we ventured into the two facilities we identified that not only were they not at “100%” due to excessive agency and overtime, the targets being measured against were very generous and had not been reviewed in years. In addition to the results, there were no effective tools to help the front-line managers manage proactively on a daily basis. After 18 months of coaching and implementing the OPTIX Reporting System, the $12M loss was eliminated and the region started turning a profit. Additional entities such as the regional offices and LTAC facilities were added. Each year, the hospital continued to improve and was named in the TOP 20 Turnarounds in Modern Healthcare. In addition, merit increases started to be granted again after years of stagnation, while the nursing areas had the highest level of productivity in the benchmarking services.

After a couple years, Capitol Consulting was introduced to additional regions within the health system and in each case, identified and corrected the same issues. Previously, there was a pervasive sense that the hospitals were doing all they could, but that was due to the productivity system being geared toward reporting what they wanted to see rather than what could be accomplished. With fresh reports and tools, OPTIX shifted that mindset, embedding the cost analysis of labor productivity into the health system’s culture.  The OPTIX Reporting System would soon be implemented throughout all entities and a new/ modern means to proactively manage labor expense was ingrained as the entire system worked in unison towards a common mission of continuous improvement and a stewardship of resources. A new budget process and internal benchmarking system was implemented so gains were locked in – capitalizing on improvement every year, all with agreement from the management team and leaders. The result was over 2200 FTEs and $1.156B of improvements over 15 years without the use of layoffs and draconian cuts.