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Cayuga Medical Center reduces inefficiencies to improve person-centered care

Implementing a person-centered culture is key to improving care quality while emphasizing an approach that factors in individuals, careers, families and communities as central to effective care delivery. In 2018, Cayuga Medical Center began applying a person-centered care lens to its processes to improve patient experience and streamline operations.

CMC identified an inefficient imaging scheduling process that was resulting in complaints by patients and physician offices. Further, the hospital was experiencing a high percentage of authorization and medical necessity write-offs due to incomplete information required for a test. A team was convened to identify solutions, including staff from quality, imaging, central scheduling, admissions, information services, financial services and physician offices, as well as the chief operating officer serving as the executive champion. Using Lean Six Sigma, the team:

  • developed screens within the scheduling system to identify and track missing data requirements;
  • developed and distributed an imaging order and admissions guide to all physician offices to reduce errors when ordering tests;
  • added Current Procedural Terminology codes to the scheduling system to make it easier to locate the correct test;
  • increased scheduling staff based on industry standards; and
  • implemented role-based functions.

As a result of these changes, abandoned calls decreased by 67% from a baseline of 8.4% (November 2018 to March 2019) to 2.8% (second to fourth quarter 2019). Medical necessity write-offs decreased by 67%, from $18,472 (Q4 2018) to $9,061 (Q4 2019), and authorization write-offs decreased by 72%, from $80,710 (Q4 2018) to $22,925 (Q4 2019).

For more information, contact Karen Ames, RRT, BS, MA, chief patient safety officer and director, quality and patient safety, at kames@cayugamed.org or 607.274.4436.