Customer Spotlight: Rehabilitation By The Numbers

Sahlgrenska University Hospital masters value-based care through analytics with Qlik.

Sahlgrenska University Hospital

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If you’ve ever had to recover from an injury: you know that rest and relaxation alone is not enough to get you back to 100%. Your health is dependent on a rehabilitation process: it may require range of motion exercises to strengthen muscles, electronic synapse stimulation or repetitive steps to increase muscle memory. With every person’s experience being slightly different, it’s hard to fit care into a neatly wrapped box. Each patient warrants their own rehab plan and timeline. This is where value-based care, a concept introduced through Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter comes in.

Value-based care means that patients are more directly involved in their own care and the hospital’s processes are more consistent while producing more reasonable costs. Sahlgrenska University Hospital (SU) is one of the pioneers and experts in Sweden in value-based management, caring for roughly 2.4 million residents nationally. SU focuses on its patients and facilitates care that goes beyond the hospital bed: ensuring quality continuing care. Despite best intentions, the initial transition to value-based care did not uniformly lead to higher satisfaction levels from the get-go.

Take SU’s orthopedic department: the surgeons knew that the existing patient satisfaction levels were lower than the national average, but were unsure as to why. The wards had stored years of patient satisfaction data in multiple systems across their IT infrastructure which caused an unnecessary personal disconnect. Luckily, thanks to Qlik, they were able to cull all of that data into a single patient satisfaction scorecard in just three months of use. That scorecard has led to a more clairvoyant view of the patient journey. Orthopedic surgeons can now see who the satisfied patients are, as well as who isn’t and discuss potential adjustments with the involved employees. This has meant improved efficiency: faster treatment and shorter waiting lists.

In fact, patient waiting times for surgery were decreased by 60% from about 100 days to about 40 days and the average length of stay decreased from 5.5 to 3.5 days, while complications following surgery fell by a third and procedure costs dropped 15%.

”With the help of Qlik we have been able to analyze data from two wards, which resulted in us resolving a longstanding concern about various long hospital stays within five months.” - Maziar Mohaddes, orthopedic surgeon.

Some of these changes were more procedural in nature, but produced meaningful results. Notably, the physiotherapists began visiting patients two hours after their surgery to get them mobile. This allowed the patients to accelerate their recovery and it improved patient outcomes across the board by reducing the risk of postoperative complications. Accelerated patient outcomes means shorter hospital stays, through these changes, the average stay was reduced by 50% in 3 months of using Qlik.

All of these improvements have resulted in happier patients as well. According to data pulled from the Swedish Hip Arthroplasty Register: SU’s satisfaction rate rose from 86 percent in 2013 to 90 percent in 2014.

With the help of Qlik partner Mindcamp, the orthopedic department is continuing to see new improvements – today they have built 20 different applications to monitor all the steps in their process from hospital entry to patient discharge.

Orthopedists at SU have increased insight into their data, but this quote from the Chief of Prosthetics sums it up perfectly:

“We have introduced a new control system where the patient experience, quality and efficiency are crucial. It is with immense pride that we manage to make our patients happier. My colleagues and I think that work has become more fun.” - Jonas Thanner, Chief and Section Chief of Prosthetics.

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