Marin General Hospital Cuts Blood Use, Expenses by 50%

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Improves Physician Engagement/Patient Treatment After Implementing Columbia Healthcare Analytics’ ERaaS™ Program

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“Our red blood cell use decreased 50%, from 400–500 units to 200–250 units a month,” Miller says.

Columbia Healthcare Analytics (CHA) announces that blood management for one of its clients, Marin General Hospital, Greenbrae, CA, has transformed the way the hospital uses blood and engages both patient and physician in the treatment process since implementing CHA’s proprietary External Review as a Service (ERaaS™) program in 2011.

Marin General Hospital’s red blood cell use decreased by over 30% the first quarter of implementation, optimized patient blood management, and realized millions of dollars in blood supply cost savings in a short timeframe.

Prior to 2011, when the hospital began working with CHA, blood costs continued to rise each year, according to Linda Miller and Dr. Paul Wasserstein, director and medical director, respectively, who sold administrators on CHA along with Yvette Dias, blood bank technical specialist.

“Our red blood cell use decreased 50%, from 400–500 units to 200–250 units a month,” Miller says. “Plasma transfusions declined from 408 per quarter to 61, and the facility stocks 25% fewer units overall.” The hospital also estimates monthly blood supply bills have dropped from $170,000 on average per month to as low as $80,000.

“Not only has Marin General Hospital become a role model for other facilities in the area of blood management, but reaching another 20% in blood use reduction is likely as more unnecessary blood transfusions are eliminated,” says Dr. David Jadwin, DO FCAP, president and chief medical officer of CHA.

Physician/Patient Engagement

Success with the ERaaS™ program is based on CHA’s use of patient case management to mentor each physician on ways to optimize patient care and reduce medical errors. ERaaS™ transforms traditionally ineffective, adversarial peer review into an educational mentoring process while minimizing work for hospital staff.

For example, in order to reduce blood and plasma usage, CHA worked with Marin General Hospital staff to revise the criteria for transfusion. Implementing the new criteria required increased communication with physicians and surgeons, a process the Marin General Hospital team still feels is important to the success of the blood reduction program.

“As we move into the future with Marin General Hospital, we look forward to exploring and implementing new strategies to measure physician engagement, as well as continue with ongoing mentoring of physicians on their actual case management,” says Dr. Jadwin. “This will further improve blood use and patient care.”

Click here to view the case study. For more information on CHA’s ERaaS™ program, contact us at (866) 640-9680.

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About Columbia Healthcare Analytics, Inc.

Our Vision
To build a uniform external review network that engages all providers to perform collaborative utilization and medical peer review through an educational, standardized, objective, and critical process.

Our Mission
To advance quality and economic efficiency of the healthcare industry through innovative, analytical approaches to utilization and medical peer review that educate physician and non-physician providers to minimize future errors and optimize patient care in a very short time.

Our Process
ERaaS™ is fully HIPAA-compliant, can be implemented rapidly, does not require special electronic health record processing, permits 100% chart review with educational feedback directly to physicians and reduces work for hospital staff. ERaaS™ evaluates all blood components (not just PRBCs) and all aspects of blood management (not just blood use appropriateness). Our performance is unmatched by any other known quality improvement process. References are available on request.

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Angie Yasulitis
YaZo Group
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