Physician Leadership Enhances Operational Performance and Improves Hospital Bottom Line
|Annual ED Visits
Administrators at Memorial Hospital in Belleville, Illinois were looking to bring stability to their emergency department (ED). Due to tremendous difficulty recruiting, they relied on locums to supply over 60 percent of their emergency physicians. The lack of consistent physician staffing had a severe impact on nursing and ancillary staff satisfaction, which in turn negatively affected the patient experience.
By selecting CEP America, hospital administrators knew they would have the physician leadership and national resources to affect change and rebuild optimal patient flow, staff satisfaction, and standing in the community. When CEP America began staffing the ED in January 2012, the hospital’s administrators had high expectations but had no idea such big accomplishments were possible in such a short amount of time.
CEP America’s reputation as a leader in delivering high-quality acute care immediately resonated with emergency medicine residents in the area looking for a long-term career. Attracted to CEP America’s partnership model, whereby every physician has equal ownership and a democratic voice, Memorial Hospital was inundated with physician applicants. In less than six months, the team was fully staffed with residency trained, board certified emergency medicine physicians – including three former chief residents.
With a strong group of physicians in place, CEP America’s ED Medical Director, Savoy Brummer, MD, was able to prioritize performance metrics and focus his new team around meeting specific goals. Through a collaborative process that included physicians, nurses, and hospital administrators, Dr. Brummer decided the first priority would be implementing CEP America’s Rapid Medical Evaluation® process in order to improve a patient’s time to provider (TTP) and disposition.
In a matter of months, ED operations improved significantly and the patients took notice. In the front of house, TTP decreased from 86 min to 11 minutes and the left without being seen (LWBS) rate declined from 8 percent to 0.3 percent. As the providers focused on throughput, turnaround time to discharge (TAT-D) decreased from 200 min to 135 min, with admissions to the hospital from the ED rising significantly compared to the months prior to CEP America’s efforts.
This dramatic change in performance ultimately had a positive effect on the hospital’s bottom line. With fewer patients leaving the ED without seeing a provider and more inpatient admissions, the hospital reported nearly $600,000 in additional inpatient collections in one month. Based on their overall performance, hospital administrators soon selected CEP America to staff and manage its inpatient department as well.
Since 2012, the CEP America team at Memorial Hospital has sustained its success and even improved other key performance metrics including turnaround time to discharge and admission. One year after starting work in Belleville, Dr. Brummer was recognized by “The 100 of St. Louis” as the 2013 Health and Wellness Person of the Year and as the 2013 ED Medical Director of the Year by Blue Jay Consulting, the Emergency Medicine Foundation, and the American College of Emergency Physicians.