Analytics Walkabout

"The more energy you can provide on topics of Healthcare the better. 80s night, dine on us, and fun runs were so AWESOME! Hands down best conference I have ever been to! Thanks to all who put forth the effort to get it all done." - HAS 16 attendee

The Analytics Walkabout is back by popular demand for HAS 17. This years’ experience will consist of 24 new analytics-driven projects featured at individual stations.

Attendees will be able to talk to front-line leaders at each station twice during HAS 17. The Analytics Walkabout session will be during the Tuesday evening registration dinner reception starting at 6:00 p.m. These Analytics Walkabout stations are intended to be 10-minute sessions where you can quickly learn about analytics-related projects across a wide variety of clinical, financial, technical, and leadership topics. Outcomes improvement often consists of a multitude of smaller, agile projects. We want to provide a wide variety of different projects, tailored for many different team member roles and types. Our intent is to provide something for everyone.

We’ll also have a sumptuous variety of dinner stations during the opening Analytics Walkabout reception.  This will allow you to eat, converse, learn, and network during a wonderful evening.

Analytics Walkabouts Sessions

Readiness Assessment Results and Recommendations Drive Action

Ann Tinker, RN - Senior Vice President, Professional Services, Health Catalyst

Ann Tinker, RN

Senior Vice President, Professional Services, Health Catalyst

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Needham Ward, MD - Chief Medical Officer, Pulse Heart Institute

Needham Ward, MD

Chief Medical Officer, Pulse Heart Institute

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Holly Burke, MHPA - Director of Clinical Innovation & Quality, Pulse Heart Institute

Holly Burke, MHPA

Director of Clinical Innovation & Quality, Pulse Heart Institute

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Improving outcomes in a healthcare system can be challenging, and organizational readiness is a critical factor in achieving successful outcomes and performance improvement. Pulse Heart Institute (PHI) uses the results of their Outcomes Improvement Readiness Assessment (OIRA) to guide their progress, and to ensure it is developing the competencies required to drive and sustain improvements, enabling the organization to make PHI the destination for adult heart health.


  • Coordination and integration of performance goals across PHI.
  • Enhanced governance and communication regarding performance goals and outcomes.
  • Expansion of data and analytics literacy throughout the organization.
  • PHI has achieved, and in many cases exceeded, their quality and financial targets.

Reducing Unwanted Variation Improves Outcomes and Decreases Costs

Hillary Hegener - Manager, Healthcare Delivery & Innovation, Kaiser Permanente

Hillary Hegener

Manager, Healthcare Delivery & Innovation, Kaiser Permanente

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Reducing avoidable cost and utilization are crucial to success in a value-based world. Using a data-driven approach to identify unwarranted clinical variation in cost and utilization enabled Kaiser to prioritize key opportunities. These strategic initiatives led to the creation of interdisciplinary improvement teams. Supported by robust analytics, teams developed and implemented best practice, adopted standard protocols, improving process and quality while reducing costs.


  • Reduction in LOS over three years for total knee replacement care.
  • Reduction in cost per member over three years for total knee replacement care.
  • Standardized total joint protocols across the organization.
  • Robust analytics enabled organizational alignment on strategic imperatives.

Easing the Burden of CPC Quality Metrics Reporting

Gladys Tom, MS - Senior Project IT Analyst, The Queen’s Health Systems

Gladys Tom, MS

Senior Project IT Analyst, The Queen’s Health Systems

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By 2018, 90 percent of CMS payments are expected to be tied to quality. The administrative burden associated with compiling quality metrics, like CPC+, is very daunting. The Queen’s Health System, a nonprofit network of hospitals and health-related entities serving the people of Hawaii, developed a CPC+ electronic clinical quality measure metrics (eCQM) dashboard—easing the burden of reporting and supporting the delivery of high-quality care. 


  • Confirmed baseline performance on eCQM metrics, aiding assessment of quality.
  • Visualization of care gaps, supporting prioritization of quality improvement initiatives.
  • Enabled assessment of EHR build to ensure completeness and accuracy of data prior to submission


Heart Failure Specialists Positively Impact Readmission Rates

Tammi Hudspeth, MSN - Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner, Pulse Heart Institute

Tammi Hudspeth, MSN

Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner, Pulse Heart Institute

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Rachael Warren, RN, BSN - Heart Failure Nurse Liaison, Pulse Heart Institute

Rachael Warren, RN, BSN

Heart Failure Nurse Liaison, Pulse Heart Institute

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Heart failure is associated with significant hospital admission rates, mortality, and costly readmissions.  Pulse Heart Institute identified it could reduce readmissions by standardizing care and improving timeliness of post-discharge follow up. HF specialists use an analytics application to identify patients at risk for readmission, providing early connection with a HF clinic or cardiologist. These actions have substantially reduced readmissions, improving quality of care.


  • 22% relative reduction in HF readmission rate.
  • 75% relative improvement in the number of patients referred to a HF clinic.
  • 78% relative improvement in order set utilization.


Reducing Clinical Variation: Improving ED Care and Reducing Cost

Ray Pankuch - Director, Business Intelligence and Data Services, Health Quest

Ray Pankuch

Director, Business Intelligence and Data Services, Health Quest

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Clinical variation in U.S. healthcare contributes an estimated $265 billion in wasteful spending. Using the EDW, Health Quest developed an emergency department (ED) explorer analytics application, identifying opportunities for improvement. Health Quest was able to make data-driven decisions to reduce care variation and improve workflow, successfully improving ED patient flow.


  • 40% reduction in turnaround time for CBC and comprehensive metabolic panel during highest hours of ED utilization.
  • 1% relative reduction in ED LOS.
  • Enabled identification and case management of patients who are high utilizers of ED services.


Transforming Care in Labor and Delivery

Christopher Rodrigue, MD - Director of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Thibodaux Regional Medical Center
Richelle Dufour, RN, BSN - Clinical Director, Thibodaux Regional Medical Center

Thibodaux’s Care Transformation teams focus on the triple aim-improving quality of care, reducing cost, and improving patient experience. The labor and delivery team found unwanted variation in cost of care for uncomplicated vaginal deliveries and cesarean deliveries. They established cost quality goals, redesigned workflow, standardized supplies, and shared provider-specific performance data achieving results, while maintaining 99th percentile patient satisfaction ranking.


  • $612,923 projected annual cost savings for uncomplicated vaginal deliveries and cesarean deliveries.
  • 26% relative improvement in compliance with favorable induction protocol.
  • 35% relative reduction in nulliparous cesarean rate.


Master Data Management System Solves Provider Matching Issues

Thomas Donia, RPh - Vice President, Corporate Medical Informatics, AmeriHealth Caritas
Swamy M. Kandan - Director, Enterprise Information Management, AmeriHealth Caritas

Differences in operating platforms present challenges for health plans. AmeriHealth Caritas Family of Companies, a network of over 500,000 physicians serving more than 2M lives, faced duplication and proliferation of conflicting provider data. Data quality issues affected the accuracy of directories, reimbursement for services, and credential verification. AmeriHealth implemented a master data management system, resolving the data-quality issues in less than three months.


  • One key index per provider, linking records across numerous platforms for 500,000 providers.
  • Geocoded, USPS provider addresses, enabling spatial analysis and improved data management.
  • Standard titles, credentials, degrees, specialties, all linked to nationally recognized standard terminology.

More Efficient Closing Process Saves Time and Informs Decisions

David Zaccardi, MBA - Senior Director, Client Engagement, Health Catalyst
Bob Alexander - Director, Professional Services, Health Catalyst

There are necessary delays built into every cost accounting closing process to ensure data accuracy and completeness. However, preventable delays have a detrimental impact on the ability to make informed organizational and departmental decisions. Using a cost management analytics application, along with an EDW and integrated data sources, UPMC revolutionized their costing system resulting in a 5-day reduction in their monthly closing process.


  • What used to take 6 business days is now completed in less than 1 day, with valuable financial data delivered much sooner.
  • Reduced 60 human touchpoints and opportunity for error.
  • Enhanced validation of source data simplifies maintenance.
  • New governance structure enabled by data analytics.


Risk Stratification–Critical for Effective Care Management

Christine Vogeli, PhD - Director, Evaluation and Research, Center for Population Health, Partners HealthCare

Christine Vogeli, PhD

Director, Evaluation and Research, Center for Population Health, Partners HealthCare

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Maryann Vienneau - Program Director, ICMP and Palliative Care, Partners HealthCare

Maryann Vienneau

Program Director, ICMP and Palliative Care, Partners HealthCare

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Success in population health is dependent upon an organizations’ ability to use data and analytics to identify patients who could benefit the most from services. Using the EDW, Partners HealthCare is developing a patient identification algorithm that combines claims, clinical, and social information.  Primary care clinicians review their list of algorithm-identified patients to select those who would benefit most from the Integrated Care Management Program.


  • Improved data availability supports identification of younger commercial and Medicaid populations.
  • Hybrid patient identification approach minimizes unintentional variation and biases while ensuring PCP buy-in.
  • Continuous improvement of algorithm to maximize use of data available in the EDW.

Reducing Variation in Post-Acute Care Through Data Transparency

Leah Fullem - Director, Accountable Care Analytics, OneCare Vermont

Large, diverse provider networks of care often have inadvertent, costly variations in care. To reduce significant variation in the utilization of inpatient and post-acute services, OneCare Vermont used MSSP claims data and analytics to analyze variation in total joint replacement at the network, region, facility, and individual physician level. Transparent sharing of information at these levels has resulted in open dialogue and motivation to change practice.


  • Uncovered wide variation in post-acute care patterns including SNF utilization.
  • Provided new data to hospitals and providers that changed their understanding of their patient’s post-acute care.
  • Triggered an intervention to occur in one area of the state to change SNF referral patterns.


Denials Management & Point of Service Collections Improve Revenue

Lindsey Maris - Financial Analyst, MultiCare Health System

Improving the revenue cycle is a high priority for every organization. MultiCare Health System is committed to revenue cycle advancement, developing a point of service collection application and using analytics and at-the-elbow training to enable leaders and frontline staff to effectively manage denials.  Leaders and frontline staff now have line of sight into denials and point of service collections, and can change processes to ensure appropriate revenue recognition.


  • $14.99M reduction in denials and avoidable write-offs.
  • 67% increase in end users who access the revenue cycle application to manage denials.
  • Continuous, on-demand monitoring of collections against goals.
  • Multi-level view of collections, including location, department, and user.


Improving Outcomes for Elective Colon Surgery Patients

Jennifer Yahne - Director, Digestive Diseases and Urology Careline, MultiCare Health System

Nationally, readmission after colorectal surgery occurs within 90 days for one in four patients, and costs nearly $9,000 per readmission. MultiCare’s Surgery Collaborative improved elective colon surgery outcomes by developing a standard approach to colon surgery clinical practice across the system based on clinical evidence and reinforced by care pathways and order sets. They have seen significant and sustained improvement over the last three years.


  • 19% reduction in readmission rates.
  • 22% reduction in length of stay.
  • 85% reduction colorectal SSI incidence leading to SIR of 0.1/or 92% less than expected.
  • 96% of patients receive at least one of the colon surgery order sets; 89% of patients receive both.


Expanding Access to Emergency Care—Improving ED Throughput

Tonya Gambrell, MBA - Manager, Training and Quality Assurance, Mission Health
Amy Hughes - Training and Quality Assurance Analyst, Mission Health

The number of patients who leave the ED without being seen, and time from arrival to being seen by a qualified provider, are markers of crowding and signal that access-to-care issues may be prevalent.  Mission Health understood ED throughput could not be improved without a systems approach. Using insights gained from analytics, Mission’s data-driven systems approach engaged the entire organization, successfully improving ED throughput, safety, and quality.  


  • 89% relative reduction in left without being seen.
  • 85% relative reduction in left before treatment complete.
  • 75% relative reduction in median door to a qualified provider.
  • 70% relative reduction in the time to complete registration.

Infection Rate Reduction Improves Patient Experience

Tori Butler, RN, MSN, NEA-BC - Clinical Nurse Manager, The University of Kansas Health System

Tori Butler, RN, MSN, NEA-BC

Clinical Nurse Manager, The University of Kansas Health System

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Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are a major, yet preventable, threat to patient safety. An essential component of the patient experience is their perception of safety. The University of Kansas Health System sought to reduce HAIs by using lean methodology and visualization of performance. Through standardized care, decreasing variability, the health system increased registered nurse time at the bedside, significantly reducing HAIs and improving the patient experience. 


  • Zero CAUTI in 2017, with only one CAUTI in 732 days.
  • Zero CLABSI in 2017, with only one CLABSI in 678 days.
  • One clostridium difficile infection in 2017.
  • 95th percentile patient satisfaction ranking.

Improving OR First Case Start Times

Rebecca Gearhart, MSN, RN, CNOR - Senior Director, Perioperative/Procedural Services, The University of Kansas Health System

Effective use of OR time is imperative to achieve profitable margins. A key measure of OR efficiency is starting the first case of the day on-time. The University of Kansas Health System used lean methodology and analytics to redesign work flow, identifying opportunities with OR scheduling to improve on-time performance. Staggered start times with ongoing monitoring and visibility of performance have led to substantial improvement in first case on-time starts.


  • 28% relative improvement first case on-time starts.
  • Four staggered start times, supporting on-time performance.
  • Improved surgeon and staff satisfaction.

Sustaining Outcomes Improvement for Patients with Heart Failure

Sarah McGinty Sanders, RN, BSN, CHFN - Heart Failure Program Coordinator, The University of Kansas Health System
Chris Wittkopp - Director, The University of Kansas Health System

In the U.S. >1M patients are hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of HF. Readmission rates following HF hospitalization are high, with ≥50% of patients readmitted to the hospital within 6 months. University of Kansas Health System has a dedicated team focused on improving outcomes and reducing readmissions for these patients. By focusing efforts on key process measures and the discharge process, the health system sustained and increased improvement on outcomes every year since 2014.


  • 4% relative reduction in readmission rate.
  • 8% relative reduction in mortality, with a 62% increase in case mix index.
  • 4% relative increase in number of patients with a follow-up appointment in 7 days.
  • Threefold increase in follow-up contact within 72 hours.

Effectively Managing Pain in the ED without Opioids

Jason Eiband, MD - Chief, Emergency Medicine, The Permanente Medical Group

The U.S. is facing an opioid epidemic, with increasing numbers of patients who are addicted and overdosing on opioids. Kaiser South San Francisco Emergency Department undertook a multiyear journey to progressively decrease the number of opioids used for pain. Data and clinician feedback were used to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions such as safe prescribing practice guidelines, IV Tylenol for acute pain, and guidelines for the management of chronic pain.


  • 59% reduction in parental opioid use with IV Tylenol.
  • 33% decrease in inpatient LOS and 28% reduction in inpatient delirium with opioid avoidance.
  • 25% decrease in ED LOS with IV Tylenol.
  • 52% reduction in opioids prescribed for chronic pain.


Integrating Disparate Data Sources Facilitates Improvement

Elizabeth Stedina, MBA - Director, Analytics, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

The performance measures providers need in their line of sight continues to increase. Frequently, the data resides in disparate systems, requiring providers to waste valuable time navigating multiple systems, and analysts to spend days each month manually creating reports. To ease this burden, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center leveraged the EDW to construct a provider metrics analytics application, integrating disparate source data into one easy to use application.


  • 16 service line data sets integrated into the application.
  • 500-hour savings in development time, while achieving marked improvement in data availability.
  • 11 strategic improvement goals established – new insights gained from increased data accessibility illuminated opportunities for improvement.

Improvement Advisor – Data Analyst Dyad: A QI Powerhouse

Vaidehi Mehta, MS, MPH - Manager, Office of Clinical Quality Improvement, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Traditional data requests for quality improvement (QI) teams are often tedious, with misinterpreted requirements, manual edits, and inaccurate conclusions stemming from limited interaction between data analysts (DA) and subject matter experts. When improvement analysts (IA) and DA dyad partner with clinical teams using agile, iterative analytics to identify QI opportunities, measure results, and spread success, the need for translation is decreased and efficacy is improved.


  • 13 IA-DA dyads set up, supporting all areas of the hospital.
  • Automated measurement tools to support intervention design and improvement monitoring built within 3 months of a 6-month project.
  • Dyads consistently receive high client-satisfaction scores.
  • Increased analyst job satisfaction.


Improving Value through Evidence-Based Platelet Prescribing

Caroline Burlingame, MPH - Clinical Data Analyst, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Platelets are a precious resource often in short supply. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) identified significant variation in prophylactic platelet dosing, creating a multidisciplinary team to safely reduce the standard prophylaxis dose for oncology patients. Supported by education, new evidence-based department guidelines, clinical decision support, and data-driven performance management, they successfully achieved widespread adoption of the dosing guidelines. 


  • 32 percentage point increase in compliance with the new dosing guideline for oncology patients <20kg.
  • 36% increase in whole units transfused, a possible signal of decreased waste.
  • No change in time between transfusions and ED visits after the process change.

Socioeconomic Factors Associated with Colorectal Cancer Rates

Eric Thrailkill - Chief Information Officer and Vice President, Information Technology, AmSurg

The incidence of colorectal cancer in the United States is declining overall, but is increasing among young adults. Using a centralized patient registry and an analytics application, AMSURG used demographic and geospatial data to evaluate average screening ages and social factors influencing screening rates, identifying groups of patients that may benefit from outreach and testing earlier than current population health statistics indicate.


  • 10% increase in adenoma detection rates from 2014 to 2016.
  • 33% relative increase in the number of diagnostic procedures between 2015-2016.
  • Six high-risk geographic areas identified, enabling targeted patient outreach for early screening.

Evidence-Based Practices and Analytics Combat the Opioid Epidemic

Kathleen Keller, MAN, RN, CNE - Project Management Coordinator, Quality, Allina Health
Anna Kleckner, PhD, MPH - Outcomes Improvement Consultant, Allina Health

Since 1999, opioid-related deaths quadrupled, opioid sales nearly quadrupled, and opioid prescriptions soared. Each day, 91 Americans die from an opioid overdose, and in Minnesota, drug overdose death rates increased 11% from 2014-2015. Allina’s interdisciplinary approach to this problem focused on alleviating pain without overuse of opioids for acute non-cancer pain in the outpatient setting by implementing evidence-based pain management and prescribing guidelines.


  • 980,527 fewer opioid pills prescribed in 2016, a 12% relative reduction.
  • 2,079 fewer patients receiving eight or more opioid pill prescriptions over 12 months, an 18% relative reduction.
  • 13,391 fewer patients receiving opioid prescriptions for more than 20 pills, a 13% relative reduction.


Enhanced Mental Health Transitions Reduces Readmissions

Christina Schwartz, BA, MHP - Mental Health Navigator, Allina Health

Christina Schwartz, BA, MHP

Mental Health Navigator, Allina Health

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Within 30 days of discharge, 15% of patients with mood disorders are readmitted nationally, and 22.4% of patients with schizophrenia are readmitted. The average cost of the repeated stay is $7,200. To ensure appropriate utilization and treatment in the most appropriate care setting, Allina implemented an enhanced mental health transitions program and used analytics to evaluate process and outcome measures.


  • 27% relative reduction in potentially preventable readmission rate.
  • 89% of inpatients received onsite contact by outpatient provider before discharge.
  • 92% of patients successfully attend their follow up appointment.
  • 80% retention rate in outpatient services, surpassing national retention rates.

Improving Clinical Documentation Using Analytics and Education

Erin Holthusen, RN, CCDS - CDI Manager, Revenue Cycle Management, Allina Health

Clinical documentation is an essential part of patient care, and must be accurate, timely, and reflect the scope of services provided. Clinical documentation improvement programs (CDIP) promote complete, accurate, and compliant documentation, and ensure documentation is comprehensive enough to support coding and reimbursement. Allina’s CDIP used analytics to identify and monitor opportunities to improve, and provided education and coaching to better the CC/MCC capture rate.


  • 8% improvement in Medical CC/MCC capture rate.
  • 7% improvement in Surgical CC/MCC capture rate.
  • Increased accuracy in publicly reported risk adjusted quality metrics.
  • Revenue capture improvement across system resulted in millions of dollars of additional reimbursements.

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What Attendees From Last Year Had to Say

I can’t imagine a better summit. My brain is buzzing with all these new tools, resources, case studies, and innovative ideas and softwares. I’ll be back next year, and if next year is as good as this year, you’ll definitely have made a follower for life out of me.

… This was the best conference in over 20 years that I have attended.

This is by far the best conference I have attended. It was well planned and coordinated. Great job to the team for putting this amazing event together.

Same place, same time next year!!  The best conference I’ve attended, fabulous job!

The more energy you can provide on topics of Healthcare the better. 80s night, dine on us, and fun runs were so AWESOME! Hands down best conference I have ever been to! Thanks to all who put forth the effort to get it all done.

You don’t need my help. Fine job. Best conference of the year!

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