Sum of the Savings

$52,436,160—that’s the sum (and just some) of the savings the 2008 Top 25 Connected Healthcare Facilities—that we announce in this issue—have saved over the last five years following the implementation of digital imaging systems, a wide range of healthcare IT systems and connecting and integrating them across the enterprise to enable patient data, images and reports to flow to and from caregivers. The total savings was far more; these are only the figures facilities shared with us. What isn’t monetized? Square footage and staff repurposed for additional clinical space; the clinical and economic value of reduced report turn-around times; reduced patient stays based on more efficient diagnosis; less time patients and physicians spend waiting for exams and results; greater patient, physician and staff satisfaction from riddance of nuisances in inefficient workflow; reduced patient anxiety in a quickly generated negative diagnosis.

Here are some milestones of the Top 25 Connected Healthcare Facilities. They speak volumes.

  • University of Pittsburgh Medical Center reduced reading room attendants by nine for total savings of $224,640; reduced transcription staff by 12 FTEs for savings of $299,520. Radiology report turn-around time went from 4 days to 3 hours. Thanks to the addition of mammography CAD, the facility improved its breast carcinoma detection rate.
  • Midland Memorial Hospital in Midland, Texas, since moving to digital imaging and IT systems four years ago has saved $1 million a year in film costs (representing a 98 percent reduction in film). Consolidating four film libraries into one has eliminated six FTEs and brought an additional $120,000 in savings. Technologist staff was cut by 5 FTEs, resulting in $250,000 in savings each year.
  • Radiology Consultants of Iowa have seen a 20 percent boost in radiologist productivity since adding RIS, PACS and speech recognition—enabling the physicians to work remotely rather than driving to rural hospitals to read films.
  • Brigham & Women’s Hospital no longer uses film. Enterprise image viewing is available in all clinics as well as in more than 40 ORs. Physicians utilize CPOE to enter orders and sign them electronically; 97 percent of orders are signed electronically.
  • OhioHealth in Columbus says the savings in film and associated FTEs justify the cost of PACS. One hospital in the network saved almost $3 million from FY 2004-2008. During that same time, $628,000 was cut in FTE expenses. Enterprise-wide, adopting voice recognition has contributed to a reduction of about seven FTEs and transcription savings of almost $435,000.