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Vizient Award Winning Service Line Led By Novia Interim For Cost Reduction

Published by Sam Crawford on September 12, 2023


The Challenge

The Service Line was experiencing rapid growth in volume which had led to downstream operational inefficiencies. The multisite service line was suffering from growing pains due to a lack of standardization which had resulted in variation in policies and procedures between the different sites. The lack of alignment between ambulatory and hospital services also contributed to operational inefficiencies relating to variation in care, staffing and scheduling across sites, and delays in patient access to noninvasive diagnostics.

The Approach

Novia Solutions interim leader conducted an assessment to identify the best way to expand the Service Line and improve financial performance. Novia’s interim leader was tasked with increasing alignment of inpatient and outpatient services as well as streamlining scheduling and staffing. The goal was to ensure standardization and consistency, and reduce costs. In order to do so, the interim leader identified a need to streamline the service line and proceeded to establish consensus on standardized policies and procedures across all sites.

Streamlined scheduling & staffing:

  • A centralized management structure was created which allowed team leaders to set clear expectations for staff.
  • Expectations were set by regularly updating assignment boards to allow management to compare assignments against schedules.
  • Proactive staffing measures were also implemented in order to:
    • Ensure inpatient facilities were well staffed during morning shifts to better facilitate ADT and meet each area’s staffing needs.
    • Make staffing policies more economically efficient by allowing nurses to work on inpatient tasks in between outpatient assignments.
    • Reduce backlog by staffing nurses for normal shifts on weekends in order to avoid creating a backlog for the beginning of the week.
  • These measures resulted in significant cost reduction by increasing overall staffing efficiency.

Increased alignment between in and outpatient services.

  • A centralized structure was established to reorganize both inpatient and outpatient services around the Service Line to enhance patient continuity.
  • Novia’s interim increased alignment between sites by establishing consensus on procedural protocols which improved both patient access to care and stafd management.
  • Procedural standardization resulted in an improvement in quality throughout the service line.
  • Standardization of protocols helped reduce variation in care which in turn helped improve quality of care, expanded capacity and reduced cost.

The Results & Benefits

Enhanced patient continuity allowed patients to flow more seamlessly from one service to another. Improving patient access to care allowed patients to received testing more quickly resulting in less down time between care steps. Increased procedural standardization ensured a consistent level of care for each patient, expedited discharges and improved care coordination which increased bed capacity and staff efficiency. Consistent staff management allowed staff to be aware of expectations for their area and across the service line, thus fostering collaboration and service line goal alignment. Through the implementation of standardized quality metrics, the interim leader was able to streamline the service line and establish uniform procedural protocols between sites. Additionally, reducing variation improved the overall quality of care and reduced operating costs which enabled the service line to increase Net Income by 37% compared to the year prior.

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