Development by a Large Integrated Health Care System of an Objective Methodology for Evaluation of Medical Oncology Service Sites
- Marija Bjegovich-Weidman, RN, MSN⇓,
- Jill Kahabka, BS,
- Amy Bock, RN, BSN, OCN,
- Jacob Frick, MD,
- Helga Kowalski, RN, MBA and
- Joseph Mirro, MD
+ Author Affiliations
- Corresponding author: Marija Bjegovich-Weidman RN, MSN, Aurora Health Care, 750 West Virginia St, Milwaukee, WI 53215; e-mail: email@example.com.
Purpose: Aurora Health Care (AHC) is the largest health care system in Wisconsin, with 14 acute care hospitals. In early 2010, a group of 18 medical oncologists became affiliated with AHC. This affiliation added 13 medical oncology infusion clinics to our existing 12 sites. In the era of health care reform and declining reimbursement, we need an objective method and criteria to evaluate our 25 outpatient medical oncology sites. We developed financial, clinical, and strategic tools for the evaluation and management of our cancer subservice lines and outpatient sites. The key to our success has been the direct involvement of stakeholders with a vested interest in the services in the selection of the criteria and evaluation process.
Methods: We developed our objective metrics for evaluation based on strategic, financial, operational, and patient experience criteria. Strategic criteria included: population trends, full-time equivalent (FTE) medical oncologists/primary care physicians, FTE radiation oncologists, FTE oncologic surgeons, new annual cases of patients with cancer, and market share trends. Financial criteria per site included: physician work relative value units, staff FTE by type, staff salaries, and profit and loss. Operational criteria included: facility by type (clinic v hospital based), hours of operation, and facility detail (eg, No. of chairs, No. of procedure and examination rooms, square footage). Patient experience criteria included: nursing model primary/nurse navigators, multidisciplinary support at site, Press Ganey (South Bend, IN; health care performance improvement company) results, and employee engagement score.
Results: The outcome of our data analysis has resulted in the development of recommendations for AHC senior leadership and geographic market leadership to consider the consolidation of four sites (phase one, four sites; phase two, two sites) and priority strategic sites to address capacity issues that limit growth. The recommendations if implemented would result in significant cost savings, currently being quantified as a result of consolidation and improved efficiency. A reinvestment of these cost savings would be required to address facility expansion and program enhancement to maximize patient-centered expert care consistently across all of our remaining sites of service.