How Banner Health Optimized OR Utilization with AI Scheduling Software | Qventus, Inc.

How Banner Health Optimized OR Utilization with AI Scheduling Software

Banner Health, one of the largest nonprofit healthcare systems in the country, was looking for a technology partner to help them streamline surgical scheduling and improve OR utilization so they could continue delivering high quality patient care while reducing operational bottlenecks and simplifying day to day processes for their staff. Banner decided to trial the Qventus Perioperative Solution at its four largest facilities, and after a successful trial they recently made the decision to deploy Qventus across their enterprise – which includes 33 hospitals spanning 6 states.

This blog post will cover:

  • What Banner Health was looking for in an OR optimization partner
  • What the Qventus Perioperative Solution does, and why it’s so impactful
  • How Banner Health is achieving results through its partnership with Qventus

Banner Health’s OR Optimization Journey

In many health systems, the OR is one of the largest revenue driving units in the hospital. And revenue from higher margin surgical procedures often help offset costs of care in other areas of the hospital, so maximizing precious operating room time can go a long way towards maintaining the financial resources needed to deliver high quality care across the patient population. Banner Health recognized this financial reality, and set their focus on maximizing OR utilization in order to meet their strategic growth goals and continue to deliver world-class care. As surgical demand continues to rise, being able to accommodate more cases in the same number of ORs with the same number of staff is critical.

In order to achieve its goals, Banner Health was looking for a technology solution that would meet four key criteria:

  • Ability to show ongoing value – Any solution Banner would implement would need to have a clear and demonstrable ROI. Being able to accurately measure the impact of a solution and gain actionable insights from it was a necessity.
  • Integration with the EHR – Banner knew that for any solution to be successful, it would need to seamlessly integrate within the care teams’ usual workflows. Bi-direction EHR integration, i.e. the ability for a solution to read from and write to the EHR, was non-negotiable. If a new solution added more stress to the care team, rather than simplify their day, it was not going to be adopted by staff and would never be successful.
  • Flexible and personalized implementation – Rolling out a new solution that impacts multiple roles across many facilities in such a high-importance department is a big task. Banner needed a partner that would make implementation and training as easy as possible for its surgeons, scheduling teams, and hospital leadership.
  • Scalability and Process Improvement – With such a large system spanning multiple states, Banner recognized the importance of a solution that would scale quickly and help standardize processes across facilities, so every team was on the same page and operating under best practices. Banner knew it needed a partner with experience in change management and process improvement. Without these components, any new software risks going unused and creating more headaches than it solves.

What is the Qventus Perioperative Solution?

The Qventus Perioperative Solution uses artificial intelligence, machine learning, and behavioral science principles to unlock OR access and maximize utilization. At its core, the software makes it easy for scheduling teams to find and book available time while intelligently prioritizing slots that make the most sense for a given procedure. But the solution is so much more than just an intelligent scheduling interface.

a flow chart that describes peroperatives olution includeing maximzing or capacity, proactive growth strategy, efficiency, performance insights and referral integrity

Proactively release unused block. Machine learning models predict, up to one month in advance, blocked time that is unlikely to be used. When the models are confident enough in that prediction, an email nudge is sent to the block owner prompting them to release it. The nudge provides useful information, such as the predicted likelihood of that surgeon using the time as well as the utilization increase that would be realized if they release it, to encourage action. These predictions are made at the hour level, so if the model predicts that only 3 hours of an 8 hour block are unlikely to be used, we only prompt the surgeon to release those 3 hours.

Fill open time strategically. Once block time is successfully released, the solution helps you fill the time with the best fit cases. Our Available Time Outreach (ATO) feature enables you to automatically offer open time to the surgeon who is most likely to use it, and most likely to fill it with a strategically significant case. Our models continuously calculate a fit score for all surgeons for all available open time and automatically offer slots to the best-fit surgeons. Additionally, the algorithms can prioritize health system strategic objectives such as growing targeted service lines, improving robotic utilization, and decanting low acuity volume to a community setting.

Gain actionable insights and perioperative analytics. The solution includes personalized, persona-based analytics. These intuitive reports are designed to enable key OR stakeholders to make more informed decisions and to better understand performance. With unique views for surgeons, executives, and OR leaders, the analytics suite provides relevant information for all roles.

Grow your market share. Market Insights provides surgeons and hospital leadership with a comprehensive view into their market. Powered by longitudinal claims data, exclusively available from Qventus, Market Insights enables you to identify growth opportunities in near-real-time and gain a competitive edge in your market. With Market Insights you can automatically identify high-potential referral sources, understand volume changes within the context of overall market shifts, and understand your current position within your market.

A screenshot showing various graphs and charts from the Market Insights page in the Qventus Perioperative Solution

Banner Health Results and Outcomes

Banner Health wanted to initially test the solution at 4 of its largest facilities before rolling it out system wide. They strategically selected these 4 because they were facilities at which success or failure would be evident. With this trial, they were evaluating:

  • Does the solution drive growth?
  • Does it drive efficiency and is it easy to use?
  • How does it impact utilization?
  • What is the financial impact and ROI of this solution?

After the trial period, the results confirmed that the solution was having the positive impact they were expecting to achieve, and the successful implementation and staff adoption reinforced that this was the right solution for them.

Regarding growth, Banner Health saw 2+ additional cases per OR per month after implementing the Qventus solution. They also unlocked 619 additional hours of robotic capacity by optimizing robotic usage.

As for efficiency, Banner saw 89% of OR requests submitted through Qventus were accepted, and staff feedback was very positive. Nicole Fiore, Senior Director, Division Operations, Surgical Specialties at Banner Health said, “The results after the first six months have far exceeded our expectations. The solution has increased access to the OR and streamlined the process of block management. The OR teams can schedule cases real-time, rather than be put on a list and wait for confirmation on availability. This has also positively impacted their patient’s care as they can look ahead and schedule their surgery before leaving the doctor’s office.”

Banner Health has also realized a 2x increase in released block hours, releasing 359+ hours of block early each month, enabling them to fill time that otherwise would go unused, boosting overall OR utilization. Based on data from the trial period, Banner Health achieved a 7x return on its investment

We are thrilled with the early results from Banner Health, and are excited for the opportunity to partner with them across the entire system. If you’d like to hear more about Banner Health’s OR optimization journey, you can watch this webinar to hear directly from Banner Health leaders.