Southwestern Michigan Emergency Services (SWMES)
Improving Patient Safety Through Data-Driven Collaboration
Southwestern Michigan Emergency Services (SWMES) is a renowned healthcare organization that provides emergency medical services in Southwest Michigan. The company staffs four Bronson Healthcare hospitals in the Kalamazoo, Michigan area. Under the leadership of CEO Jim De Moss, SWMES is deeply committed to enhancing patient care, fortifying safety measures, and mitigating risks inherent in emergency medical practices.
The Kalamazoo region, marked by the highest percentage of Medicaid patients in the state outside of Detroit, presents a challenging payer mix. Consequently, the average reimbursement rate is notably lower, making it imperative for SWMES and the hospitals to run exceptionally efficient practices to remain financially viable.
Moreover, the community grapples with the opioid epidemic, adding complexity to SWMES’s operations. The healthcare environment has become even more demanding, requiring proactive strategies to address the unique challenges it presents.
Lingering issues in the Emergency Department (ED) further added to the challenges. A rising rate of Left Without Being Seen (LWBS) cases, largely attributed to boarding in the ED, created a pressing dilemma. The hospital, like many others, struggled with understanding the intricacies of these issues. Their existing data didn’t provide the depth required to pinpoint the root causes or offer insights.
SWMES adopted a collaborative problem-solving approach with the hospital, armed with granular data that provided context and detailed insights unavailable through the hospital’s data systems. Together, they delved deep into the root causes of issues, dissecting problems to their core.
Central to SWMES’s success was the reliance on d2i’s extensive data resources, as well as the Patient Safety and Risk Mitigation Dashboard, a collaboration between d2i and The Sullivan Group (TSG). This powerful tool leverages d2i’s Emergency Medicine Performance Analytics and TSG’s extensive clinical risk-reduction expertise. With access to a wealth of information, SWMES gained the capability to explore data from numerous dimensions, unveiling the complexities behind the high LWBS rates.
For instance, at the Bronson Battle Creek location, one decisionmaker was initially focused on reducing unprecedentedly high LWBS rates, but the approach was centered on the wrong problem. This stakeholder examined the overall LWBS number but was unable to understand the whole picture and the impact ED crowding was having on patient flow. SWMES, on the other hand, used the ability to easily correlate related measures, filter data sets, and drill down to encounter-level detail from d2i to demonstrate how scarce nursing resources were intentionally being diverted to higher-acuity patients. Their approach prioritized the immediate care of ESI levels 1 and 2 patients to save lives, while still making their best efforts to treat those with less critical ailments.
While improving patient safety and optimizing patient flow were their primary objectives, SWMES anticipate that their efforts will result in derivative benefits. Notably, they anticipate showcasing these improvements during future negotiations with medical malpractice insurance providers. Their data-driven approach and dedication to improving patient safety stand as a testament to their commitment to delivering high-quality emergency care.
Jim De Moss, President – Board of Directors of SWMES adds:
“We now have the data-driven tools and insights needed to provide the highest quality of emergency care while reducing risks and strengthening our relationship with Bronson Healthcare.”
Setting New Healthcare Standards
The hospital views the comprehensive data as a significant asset, enabling them to gain insights they previously lacked. The depth and integrity of the data have transformed their ability to identify causes and find solutions to pressing issues in patient safety and care delivery.
Through the synergy of SWMES’ expertise, d2i’s data resources, and the hospital’s commitment to quality care, this collaborative partnership continues to redefine the standards of emergency medicine while addressing the unique challenges of Bronson Healthcare’s patient population.
Contact d2i today to discover how data-driven insights can revolutionize your organization’s healthcare practices.