Gradually, Dr. Tanios and others cranked up the effort. Last spring, at regular meetings of the hospital’s medical staff, they began sharing lists of doctors whose patients spent on average the most days in the hospital, as well as those who spent the fewest. Doctors were encouraged to learn how to check their own data.
Some doctors had to go through “stages of acceptance,” he says. “First is anger, ‘Why is someone looking at my data?’ Then denial, ‘This is not my data!’ Then acceptance.” In the end, he has seen some doctors’ average patient stays go down after he discusses their results with them, he says.
MemorialCare says that, in general, the doctor-data efforts and other programs have helped reduce the average stay for adult patients to four days in 2012 from 4.2 days in 2011. MemorialCare also says that, between 2011 and 2012, it trimmed the average cost per admitted adult patient by $280, saving $13.8 million. It says it has improved on indicators of quality including patient readmissions, mortality and complications. (WSJ)