Quantified value story number 118 – saving patient cost in healthcare
Here is a reference to a great story about the value of simple KM in healthcare
The story is taken from a California State University blog on KM, and references an earlier Times Magazine story, available to subscribers. The Time magazine is ostensibly about doctors’ pay, but also describes how sharing and institutionalizing good practices (although they don’t call them that) can significantly reduce costs, improve outcomes for patients…and keep doctors happy.
The blog quotes the following example of a very simple KM practice, which shows how much difference even a best-practice checklist can make (and also how unpopular this was, until it began to deliver benefit).
The first thing he (the head of surgery at Geisinger) and his team did was take 20 general steps all surgeons follow throughout a bypass episode and try to sharpen them in a way that would remove as much chance and variability as possible, going so far as to spell out the specific drugs and dosages doctors would use. The result was an expanded 40-step list that some surgeons balked at initially, deriding what they called “cookbook medicine.”
Once doctors began following the expanded checklist, however, they grew to like it. After the first 200 operations — a total of 8,000 steps — there had been just four steps not followed precisely, for a 99.95% compliance rate. A total of 320 bypasses have now been performed under the new rules.
“There are fewer complications. Patients are going home sooner. There’s less post-op bleeding and less intubation in the operating room,” says Casale. What’s more, the reduced complication rate has cut the per-patient cost by about $2,000.
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