2017 opm lg

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Thursday, September 14, 2017 ∙ 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

How to Effectively Implement and Manage a Sustainable Observation Unit

Need for Observation Patient Departments emerged as one of the solutions to the challenges most large U.S. hospitals face today. Some of those challenges are capacity constraints in the ED, lack of inpatient beds, and the movement toward greater reliance on outpatient services by CMS and other payers. Effective Observation Patients Units allow hospitals to address those concerns and allow clinicians to provide better, faster, and more affordable care.

Patients typically coming through the ED are admitted to these units for testing and observation for 8 hours (minimum) and up to 24-72 hours (maximum). Observation units can help streamline ED throughput by moving patients with more complex conditions into an area better suited for treatment. In effect, Observation can help hospitals increase the case-mix index. With proper management, observation units keep healthier patients requiring shorter LOS out of the patient flow of the hospital’s inpatient units. As a result, the hospital’s case mix is based on sicker patients needing more intensive care.

With federal health reform law, which penalizes hospitals for "excessive readmissions ratios,” hospitals are expected to continue relying on observation stays. Among hospital administrators, when talking about the Observation patient management, major struggle is an adequate documentation for the anticipated treatment protocols, patients’ projected stay and subsequent billing needs.

Adam Higman, BS, MS, DHA, FACHE is an Executive Vice President at Soyring Consulting. Adam has management and consulting experience working with more than 50 healthcare organizations throughout the United States ranging from critical access hospitals to large academic facilities. His expertise includes system analysis and planning, assessments and implementation related to operational communications and work structure, and intradepartmental relations. He has analyzed staffing functions, redesigned space and staff utilization, and coordinated implementation efforts with medical, clinical, and support staff members. Adam has developed and implemented both labor and materials cost-reduction strategies from departmental to system-wide initiatives. He has also worked with health systems for a variety of growth-focused projects including volume projection analysis, short-/long-term strategic planning, and new service/facility planning and operationalization. His planning experience includes capital and equipment review, analysis of utilization, project management for new service/facility operationalization, and budgeting for new and expanding services/facilities. Adam also has experience working with a variety of multi-national medical device and pharmaceutical companies on marketing and pricing strategies.

Dragana Gough, BS, MSCP, CISSP is a Vice President at Soyring Consulting. Dragana has consulted with more than 75 healthcare facilities. She has extensive experience in the adoption and application of throughput management models aimed at generating innovative and meaningful advances in workflow and process productivity through people, processes, and technology. As a Soyring Vice President, she has led process improvement initiatives and facilitated change management in a wide variety of inpatient and outpatient environments. Dragana has developed interactive workflow process maps to demonstrate resource utilization in Emergency, Surgical Services, and Inpatient Departments among others. In addition, she has conducted data modeling based on observations and interaction with hospital clinical staff and leadership for all areas of the hospital. Dragana has extensive experience in data analytics and information technology. She has a Master's degree in Computer Engineering and greater than 15 years’ experience in the information technology field. Dragana also holds expertise and certification in Lean Six Sigma.