Located in the beautiful San Juan River Valley in the Four Corners area of New Mexico, San Juan Regional Medical Center (SJRMC) is a 198-bed, Level III trauma center. One of the few hospitals in the region, SJRMC is committed to continuously enhancing its services and level of care. San Juan Regional Medical Center has always compiled data into metrics to support continuous improvement, however, the existing software did not support hospital processes very well. Switching to ClearPoint gave SJRMC a number of advantages, including an 89% reduction in reporting time for management reports and an 83% improvement in build time for new reporting requirements. These improvements better support hospital processes, and give managers more opportunities to affect performance as well as help leadership target strategic goals more effectively.
A Performance Management Case Study: San Juan Regional Medical Center
A New View On Metrics
Healthcare facilities have some of the most rigorous compliance requirements of any industry, involving very complex patient care and supporting business processes; lives are very often on the line. Identifying the right information to track, tracking that information accurately, and analyzing the results in real or near-real time is key to gaining insights about the quality and effectiveness of your services. The aging software solution that SJRMC previously used was complicated to operate and lacked a comprehensive dashboard view of metrics. It offered no way to compile individual metrics into a larger strategic view of the hospital’s performance. This dissected view made it hard to see how any single department’s daily work was contributing to (or taking away from) efforts to reach the facility’s larger goals.
The obsolescence of the old enterprise performance management solution offered the perfect opportunity for the data team to find a better alternative. They needed to make a rapid and seamless transition to a new system that realized improvements and captured data into actionable information.
The Value Of Simplicity
Data scientist Jennifer DeChellis was primarily responsible for implementing ClearPoint. She says, “The first thing hospital employees noticed about ClearPoint was that it was incredibly easy to use—much easier than the previous software solution, something they hadn’t even identified as a problem previously. Being a hospital, that's key, because the last thing you want is to make a manager whose primary responsibility is overseeing patient care have to learn a new tool that's super complicated. So, the fact that it's very user-friendly was key for us.”
They also hadn’t realized how difficult their reporting process was until they began using ClearPoint. Before, it would take half a day to create a single report, which included getting it into a format that was both readable and printable for committee meetings. Some departments weren’t even using the old software tool, tracking everything in Excel spreadsheets instead. Those departments had to do manual calculations, format graphs, print them out individually, and bring them to committee meetings every month. Reporting was a time-consuming, tedious process.
With ClearPoint, it now takes just minutes to produce reports that had previously taken most of the day to create. All hospital data is in ClearPoint, so calculations are done automatically. Teams simply press the “export to PDF” or “print” button and a report is generated—a major time-saver.
Jennifer is also certain that ClearPoint’s simplicity will encourage managers to use it more frequently. In her vast experience, most managers’ interactions with the previous software were limited to the occasional data entry for committee meetings, an exercise that was viewed as a chore. She also notes that during the migration, team members identified numerous metrics that were buried in the old system that were no longer relevant, providing further evidence of how little the tool was used. ClearPoint’s ease of use has made it easier for managers to stay on top of their metrics and work to improve them.
A Clearer Path To Better Performance
Once managers realized how easy ClearPoint was to use, they were more inclined to use it, especially once they realized how simple it was to “see” their department’s performance.
The tool available previously was limited to data storage. Leaders and managers were directed to enter their data as required, but few were using it as a performance improvement tool. “It lacked the ability to tailor reports and tie data points into a comprehensive picture that you can get with ClearPoint. Now we've reached a level so that our metrics feed directly to our Balanced Scorecard,” says Jennifer.
At SJRMC, every department has its own scorecard and associated metrics in ClearPoint. Just as before, all managers and assistant managers are in charge of keeping their data up to date. But Jennifer sees they’re now also actively using it as a process improvement tool because it’s laid out in such a way that they can easily see and understand their performance, and make impactful changes based on the data. “[Managers] can actually take charge of what they’re doing because they can easily pull up the relevant data, and the insights are presented clearly and concisely. Managers now have a better overall picture of performance, and a better way to manage their departments.” She notes that even senior leaders log into ClearPoint to see where they stand with SJRMC’s goals and can check the status of any objective, anytime.
Acing Accreditation Audits
In addition to providing world-class patient care, another reason why performance management matters is maintaining accreditations. The hospital is accredited by both Det Norske Veritas (DNV) as well as being a stroke certified facility and a chest pain accredited facility. All accreditations come with their own sets of requirements, including a number of performance metrics.
Periodic audits from the accrediting agencies require documentation of specific data points to be deliverable on demand. With the switch to ClearPoint, audits are more organized, straightforward, and smoother than ever before. “Recently our stroke manager sat down with DNV and the audit went flawlessly. She had all her metrics ready and reviewed them one by one in a really concise manner. Our quality control manager, who sat in on the meeting, said it was the best one he’d ever attended.”
ClearPoint’s ability to add attachments to system artifacts (reports, dashboards, records, etc.) has been particularly helpful. External oversight bodies (auditors, government agencies, etc.) want to see not only that you’re managing information but that you can provide proof that you are.
Another helpful ClearPoint feature is the analysis and recommendation field. For example, stroke accreditation requires treatment to be administered within certain time frames. When the stroke manager is reviewing 10 charts in a month, it can be hard to keep track of these details. Using ClearPoint, she can add relevant details specific to individual cases, having the details readily available, like patient timestamps, in the analysis field. Having the data readily available makes it easy to report to the hospital’s quality control committee how close her team was to meeting the goal, and understand what happened in individual cases.
Continuous Improvement With ClearPoint
Jennifer sees a lot of potential for expanding the use of ClearPoint and would like to implement it as a standard auditing tool for all managers across the organization. She would also like to migrate all hospital projects to ClearPoint, so project managers can link performance metrics to organizational goals.
In the meantime, Jennifer will continue working with quality control cohorts, managers, and the ClearPoint support team to find even more ways the software can enhance SJRMC’s performance management process. “ClearPoint has the best support team I’ve ever worked with. When I ask how something works, within a day or sooner they’ve either done it already for me or pointed me in the right direction. It’s really fantastic.”
Want to see more business performance management examples using ClearPoint? Take a look at our other customer stories.