Sentara Healthcare is listed 3rd in the nation among large health care networks in the latest national rankings from Verispan, published in Modern Healthcare magazine.
Sentara was cited for marked improvements in hospital utilization, meaning the efficiency with which patients are discharged at the optimum time to make beds available for new patients.
"Were eliminating bottlenecks that delay admissions and discharges," says Sentara President and Chief Operating Officer Howard Kern. Kern told Modern Healthcare magazine that hospital beds are "a critical, scarce commodity. Were making the best use of those beds while ensuring that patients have effective discharge plans for followup and rehabilitation."
"We owe a debt of gratitude to a lot of Sentara people," says Kern. "Not only did physician executives and clinical management, nursing staff and emergency departments improve patient tracking, but Sentara Life Care created an innovative on-line system for nursing homes and rehabilitation centers throughout the region to learn of impending discharges, so patients can be readily matched the with most appropriate facilities."
Now in their second year, those initiatives have reduced average lengths of stay by more than 13,000 Medicare bed days, generating more than $3M in savings and $1M in new revenue.
Sentara also made strides in Verispans technology integration category during 2004, adding Sentara Williamsburg Community Hospital to its first-in-the-nation eICU network. This life-saving, real-time centralized monitoring system, staffed by intensivist physicians and nurse practitioners, has reduced mortality in Sentaras intensive care units by almost 20%. Sentaras pharmacy team also fine-tuned its Sunrise Clinical Manager pharmacy software during the year to minimize white noise alerts and medication errors.
"Technology can make us more efficient," says Sentara CEO David Bernd, "but not without smart, committed people using it effectively, and this ranking in Modern Healthcare justly rewards their hard work."
This is the 8th year Modern Healthcare has published the Verispan rankings, and Sentara Healthcare has always been in the top ten. This years field included 380 intregrated health care networks that responded to the Verispan survey.