Having trouble seeing this email?
VPMA Voice

Even as we all work together to conquer the financial challenges we are facing, I know all of you are also doing your utmost to provide excellent patient care, and today I want to share some good news about a significant improvement in our care of patients having surgery at UI Hospitals and Clinics. (See the story, below.)

I have said before I am absolutely in favor of the transparency and public reporting sponsored by agencies like The Joint Commission and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services because I believe such reporting ultimately improves the safety and quality of patient care.

My congratulations to all faculty and staff who collaborated in this multi-disciplinary program over the past year to achieve such great progress, including the Surgical Services Subcommittee, Nursing, Pharmaceutical Care, Health Information Management, and Clinical Quality Safety and Performance Improvement.

At this Thursday’s open forum, UI Health Care leaders will review the topics that we will be presenting to the Board of Regents at our meeting in Iowa City, March 18. Much of the discussion will revolve around UI Health Care’s financial challenges and expense moderation efforts. I encourage as many of you as possible to attend. As always, please continue to e-mail me any time at vpma@uiowa.edu with comments and suggestions.

Signed, Jean Robillard

SCIP numbers—higher than state, national averages

Like other acute care hospitals across the country, UI Hospitals and Clinics publicly reports clinical outcomes for specific conditions to The Joint Commission and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This includes what is known as Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP) metrics, such as antibiotic selection, timing, and discontinuation. These are deemed important metrics because research has shown that hospitals can improve surgical care and reduce the risk of wound infection after surgery by providing the right medicines at the right time on the day of surgery.

In April 2008, Clinical Quality Safety and Performance Improvement (CQSPI) initiated the Quality Case Manager program that provides clinicians with daily feedback on the recommended processes of care for surgical inpatients. This multidisciplinary program’s success is reflected by significant increases in our SCIP metric results related to antibiotic administration.

  • Antibiotic timing metric improved by 184 percent (result went from 31 percent to 88 percent)
  • Antibiotic selection metric improved by 4 percent (result went from 94 percent to 98 percent)
  • Antibiotic discontinuation improved by 11 percent (result went from 80 percent to 89 percent)

Although there is still work to do to reach the goal of at least 98 percent for all SCIP metrics, for the first time our results for these metrics are higher than state and U.S. averages.

Congratulations to all for their great and continuing efforts!

Regents Meeting Preview forum is Thursday

On Thursday, March 5, at noon in the East Room, Elevator F, Level 8, UI Hospitals and Clinics, UI Health Care leaders will review with faculty and staff the report they will be providing to the Board of Regents when the Board meets on Wednesday, March 18, including the following key agenda items:

Volume and financial performance—Associate Vice President and CFO Ken Fisher and Associate Vice President and CEO Ken Kates will note that for July 2008 through the end of January 2009:

  • Discharges are running just below budget, but slightly higher than last year
  • Clinic visits were slightly ahead of budget, and 4.4 percent higher than last year
  • The number of patient days and length of stay increased
  • Emergency Treatment Center volume was up, over 6 percent
  • Total revenue is under budget—about 3.0 percent ($16.6 million)
  • Operating expenses were over budget by 1.3 percent (about $6.7 million)
  • Operating income was under budget by $6.7 million, for a -1.2 percent operating margin

Expense moderation—Ken Kates will tell the Regents that, while progress is being made to address the increasingly serious financial situation, more expense reductions will be necessary to ensure UI Hospitals and Clinics ends Fiscal Year 2009 in the black. He will note that UI Health Care leaders, department heads, and managers have been reviewing programs, services, and all aspects of operations in the hospital and college to identify and implement additional opportunities to reduce expenses without impacting direct patient care, education, or research.

He will then review the progress made reducing expenses from October through the end of January, such as:

  • Total operating expenses continue to decline. Since October, expenses have decreased 10 percent and are at the lowest levels this fiscal year.
  • Salary and benefit expenses are also at the lowest levels this fiscal year, decreasing 9 percent since September.
  • Other operating expenses matched the lowest levels seen since July 2008. Since October, they have decreased 14 percent.

In addition, he will discuss the elimination of the complimentary parking program for clinic visitors to UI Hospitals and Clinics, which begins March 16.

Epic Update—Lee Carmen, Associate Vice President for Information Systems, will review the successful activation on February 8 of the Epic critical care, electronic medication administration, and inpatient pharmacy modules, highlighting the outstanding coordination and teamwork among all involved parties. He will also discuss the upcoming May 2 “Go Live” for clinical documentation and provider order entry throughout the hospital, with specialty modules for the Emergency Treatment Center, Cancer, Ophthalmology, Labor and Delivery, and Transplant.

Speaking of Excellence lecture

Steven A. Wartman, MD, PhD, President and CEO of the Association of Academic Health Centers, will provide the next Speaking of Excellence lecture at 12 Noon, Tuesday, March 10, in the East Room, Elevator F, Level 8, UI Hospitals and Clinics.

logo: University of Iowa Health Care
This is a publication of UI Health Care