How HonorHealth Improved Patient Flow Using AI and Automation | Qventus, Inc.
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How HonorHealth Improved Patient Flow Using AI and Automation

HonorHealth, a six hospital, non-profit, integrated health system in Arizona, began its care operations automation journey in 2021. The health system was dealing with inefficient patient flows that resulted in too many excess days and hurt the patient experience. Ashleigh Gerhardt, VP of Network Operations and Emergency Services at HonorHealth, summarized the problem, “We weren’t optimally utilizing our assets, and decisions were hard to make in real-time. Our staff lacked the resources they needed to properly care for patients, which further contributed to burnout. In addition, delays in care progression detracted from the overall experience.”

HonorHealth had attempted to solve these challenges by leveraging built-in EHR functionality, but that fell short of the level of efficiency and quality of insights that they were looking for. So, they began looking for additional capabilities that would enable them to operate more efficiently and achieve real-time system operations.

 

HonorHealth Partners with Qventus

HonorHealth began evaluating other solutions to help it achieve its goals of reducing length of stay (LOS), improving discharge planning, and creating more inpatient bed capacity so it could effectively treat more patients. After going through the evaluation process, HonorHealth selected the Qventus Inpatient Solution and began implementation across all six hospitals. During implementation, Qventus experts worked hand-in-hand with the HonorHealth teams to assess their processes, performance, and culture. Through this hands-on approach, Qventus was able to identify opportunities to improve discharge planning and care progression both through its technology as well as through recommended process improvements and change management.

The Qventus Inpatient Solution uses artificial intelligence and machine learning models to make accurate predictions about each patient’s estimated discharge date (EDD), identify potential barriers that could delay discharge, and provide recommendations to care teams on what next steps to take in order to reduce length of stay. The solution also includes a library of automations and features to help reduce manual tasks and streamline workflows. These include:

  • Disposition Intelligence and Automation: Machine learning models auto-populate EDD and dispositions for each patient on the first morning after admission. The models also identify opportunities for earlier and lower level of care discharges, and continue to update as the patient’s stay progresses.  
  • Care Progression Manager: This tool helps care teams evaluate Qventus’ EDD and disposition intelligence predictions, so they are able to drive discharge planning forward and develop the best plan of action for each patient. Care Progression Manager also helps streamline MDRs (multidisciplinary discharge rounds) and ensures that care teams can take the next best action for each patient.
  • Flow Prioritization: Machine learning models leverage patient and census data to determine the optimal sequence in which to complete orders that would maximize patient flow. This enables care teams to better prioritize their work and minimize delays for patients who are nearing discharge. By leveraging Flow Prioritization, HonorHealth has seen a 7% increase in on-time completion of high-priority orders, which correlates to 0.4 fewer excess days.
  • Insights Suite: This comprehensive analytics tool allows leadership teams to manage accountability, analyze outcomes and ROI, and identify opportunities for improvement.

 

Inpatient Impact: Reduced Excess Days, Lower Care Team Burden, and Improved Care

“Qventus helps our frontline teams work at the top of their license by simplifying discharge workflows. That means less phone calls, less chasing down orders, and less chaos on the day of discharge for our patients and staff.” – Ashleigh Gerhardt, VP of Network Operations and Emergency Services, HonorHealth

HonorHealth achieved significant improvements after implementing the Qventus Inpatient Solution. Now, 86% of patients receive an early discharge plan – which is a 72% increase from before they began working with Qventus. Having a personalized plan for almost every patient, and having recommendations on how to fulfill that plan, has helped HonorHealth deliver exceptional patient care. During the 3 years they’ve been using Qventus Inpatient Solution, HonorHealth has achieved great outcomes for its patients, its teams, and its bottom line:

  • Reduced LOS per patient of 0.65 days, on average.
  • 50,673 cumulative days saved by reducing excess days.
  • 62,259 auto-populated EDDs – which translates to 133,704 fewer clicks by care team members
  • 38,173 dispositions auto-populated – which translates to 127,184 fewer clicks by care team members
  • $62M saved by reducing excess days

 

Phase 2: Improved OR Utilization and Optimized Scheduling

After successfully reducing LOS and creating additional inpatient capacity, HonorHealth’s next goal was to strategically grow its surgical case volume and make the most of their newly created bed capacity. They were looking to achieve better block management, improved OR utilization, and optimal resource alignment to improve overall OR efficiency. In early 2024, HonorHealth implemented the Qventus Perioperative Solution.

The perioperative solution is now helping surgeons and schedulers at HonorHealth find and book OR time in seconds via TimeFinder, Qventus’ digital booking interface. Also, intelligent block release nudges are helping free up unused block time earlier, so the time can be filled strategically with best-fit cases. When time is released, the Available Time Outreach feature also proactively markets open time to the best-fit surgeon who is most likely to use it helping HonorHealth more easily achieve its strategic growth goals. The Perioperative Solution also helps manage high-value assets, like robots. If the platform identifies that there is a non-robotic case scheduled in a robotic room, it automatically looks for other open rooms at the same time, and suggests that the case be moved if possible. These features have helped HonorHealth optimize its OR and the results have been impactful:

  • 3.3 additional cases per OR per month
  • 14+ robotic cases added per month
  • $3.8M additional annualized contribution margin
  • 141+ hours of block released early per month
  • 79% year-over-year improvement in case minutes performed within released block

 

Conclusion

In summary, the combination of AI-powered software and best-practice processes has helped HonorHealth achieve significant improvements in patient flow and OR utilization. This creates a better experience for patients and care teams, reducing administrative burden and ensuring that more patients can get the care they need in a timely and efficient manner.

As Kim Post, EVP and Chief Operating Officer at HonorHealth, puts it “We have been able to do such wonderful things for throughput with Qventus. Qventus was really something very different with predictive analytics, machine learning, the closed-loop system, and resources that would help us drive change.”