Case Study

From Obstacle to Advantage: Improving Workflows and Optimizing Financial Performance

2 minutes

The Client Challenge

After Saint Luke’s Health System completed conversion to a new electronic health record (EHR) platform, its three critical access hospitals (CAHs) and its associated rural health clinics (RHCs) experienced declining revenue cycle performance. The health system, based in the Kansas City region, found that managing subsequent technology requests and workflow inefficiencies presented opportunities to strengthen revenue cycle governance, delve into key performance indicators (KPIs), resolve build issues, streamline workqueues, and reengineer workflows.

PERFORMANCE CHALLENGES:
down Lack of revenue cycle governance infrastructure
up Increased DNFB and AR days
down Decreased cash collections
down Lack of effective point of service (POS) collections program
down Decreased productivity due to workqueue structure, workflow logic, and inaccurate security templates

Navigating to Next: The Solution

The Chartis Group partnered with Saint Luke’s to identify necessary system build modifications and evaluate revenue cycle staffing levels against benchmarks. To pinpoint performance, efficiency, and employee satisfaction opportunities, the team reviewed workqueue structure and workload distribution. Additionally, Chartis’ interaction with clinical teams revealed that roles and security templates prohibited nursing staff from effectively functioning in a critical access environment, where they are needed to float through all hospital departments. Findings and recommendations were collaboratively presented and endorsed for implementation. The team co-developed a workplan to address identified optimization opportunities, quantify required resources, and establish an implementation timeline. Chartis provided subject matter expertise, project management, and oversight to ensure teams remained focused and progressed toward defined goals.

Navigating to Next: Key Components

Case Study - Obstacle to Advantage

ANALYZE

Review data and conduct staff interviews to determine current-state metrics

Case Study - Obstacle to Advantage

IDENTIFY

Define opportunities for technology optimization and workflow enhancements

Case Study - Obstacle to Advantage

PRIORITIZE

Create value/effort matrix for proposed initiatives and assign resources and leadership oversight

Case Study - Obstacle to Advantage

EXECUTE

Support assigned teams in executing prioritized initiatives

Client Impact

Saint Luke’s acted quickly to identify and remediate technology and workflow issues that were hindering performance and employee satisfaction. In collaboration with Chartis, Saint Luke’s optimized technology, aligned staff and workqueue structure to better distribute workload, and ultimately improve financial performance. Clinical areas also partnered with Chartis to eliminate manual processes by automating charge entry. Implementation of a daily revenue reconciliation process for the facilities and clinics further optimized clinical workflows and boosted physician and staff satisfaction.

A revenue cycle governance committee focused on recommended initiatives, achieving substantial improvements, including:
17 %

Improved average daily cash, resulting in cash collections of 104% of booked net revenue over last 5 months of engagement

97 %

Increase in POS collections in the 8 months following the assessment phase

22 %

Reduced outstanding billed debit AR


How We Are Making Healthcare Better

Partnering with Chartis to optimize our EHR configuration resulted in a stronger patient experience, greater employee satisfaction by allowing staff to focus more on the patient, and established workflow improvements that enabled stronger cashflow through revenue cycle management and POS collections. ”

Cindy G. Christensen
VP Corporate Controller, Financial Management

Next Intelligence

Leveraging and optimizing existing technology could improve financial performance of CAHs and RHCs by:
  • Effectively monitoring workflow distribution to ensure appropriate staff utilization
  • Implementing a revenue reconciliation program to identify and capture missed charges
  • Ensuring system configuration supports billing scenarios unique to CAHs

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