Executive Brief: SwedishAmerican Hospital

Reducing LOS Pays Off for Illinois Hospital - to the Tune of $9.6 Million

Sometimes, making small changes produces big results. That's the secret of success for many hospitals as they face decreased reimbursements, reduced budgets and an ever-changing landscape.

SwedishAmerican Hospital, located in Rockford, Illinois, is no stranger to utilizing innovative solutions to gain financial success and remain viable. Several years ago, the 333-bed hospital implemented MEDHOST's Emergency Department Information System (EDIS) and OpCenter solution to amplify emergency department (ED) processes and improve ED patient throughput. Faced with new patient flow regulations from The Joint Commission and the need to reduce length of stay (LOS), leadership again turned to MEDHOST for help, implementing its hospital-wide, enterprise PatientFlow HD solution.

"Creating enterprise patient flow efficiencies is imperative because it heavily impacts the hospital operationally, financially and clinically. Any kinks or hiccups can cause issues and be quite costly," said Chad Thompson, director of emergency services for SwedishAmerican Hospital. "With MEDHOST's guidance, we quickly saw the value of how technology and process change could drive patient throughput and resource management improvements."

Proof is in the Metric Pudding
MEDHOST Consulting first conducted an operational assessment that analyzed workflow processes and included numerous recommendations. Five months after implementing MEDHOST's PatientFlow HD throughput solution and executing upon MEDHOST's comprehensive patient flow and discharge process recommendations, SwedishAmerican has maintained substantial financial and patient care improvements:

  • A LOS reduction from 3.81 days to 3.57, nearly a quarter-day decrease
  • Increase new operating income up to $9.6 million from additional space created by LOS reductions, should volumes remain the same
  • Transfer times dropped from 140 minutes to 44 minutes


Visibility + Teamwork = Accountability
With PatientFlow HD, the availability of mission-critical facility, clinical and patient-centric data helped SwedishAmerican alter processes from the inside out:

  • Discharge Planning: Everyone involved in patient care now has information sooner, so discharge timing and LOS is decided at the point of admission. This has considerably improved the number of discharges ordered by 9 a.m.
  • Pharmacy: The outpatient pharmacy uses PatientFlow HD's discharge indicators to proactively fill and hand-deliver prescribed medication before patient departure, eliminating unnecessary delays.
  • Transfers: SwedishAmerican provides its sister facility, Belvidere Hospital, remote PatientFlow HD access, which has simplified transfers.


"Enhanced patient throughput, streamlined medication education, better communication and increased patient satisfaction are some of the key improvements experienced since we began focusing on how patients flow through our health system," said Thompson. "MEDHOST PatientFlow HD arms clinicians and staff with timely data, so care is better coordinated, which helps improve outcomes. After all, that's why we're in the healthcare business."