"We make decisions based on our mission to serve with the greatest care and love, and Quick Base helps us do that."

Tim Gullett

OSF HealthCare Reduces Costs and Improves Efficiency While Providing High-Quality Care

OSF HealthCare’s mission is to serve patients across their health network “with the greatest care and love.” Since its founding in 1977, the integrated Catholic healthcare system has been able to do just that as it has grown into a more than $2 billion healthcare company that serves nearly three million people.

Despite their growth, they were hitting administrative roadblocks that were creating a variety of challenges. Without a central system, employees were having a difficult time tracking and managing cost savings projects. Departments were siloed from one another providing little visibility into what others were doing across the organization. Those silos and lack of visibility made became difficult to communicate across the organization, leading to a lack of transparency.

Since implementing Quick Base, OSF HealthCare officials have used the platform to enable citizen developers, taking pressure off their backlogged IT department, to build custom solutions. Users created Performance Improvement applications to help enhance transparency and visibility, improve cross-department collaboration and better track project work across the organization.

They also built a central database to help consolidate data and provide better access to users. Quick Base has provided users with the ability to rapidly build and deploy new applications in just hours rather than waiting for months with traditional IT application development. The rapid and flexible application development process has also allowed them reduce costs while still providing compassionate care.

Challenge

  • No central system for tracking project work
  • Lack of technical resources to build custom solutions
  • Performance improvement teams were siloed from the rest of the organization which led to a lack of transparency and communication
  • Teams tasked with reducing costs while improving efficiency and quality of care

Solution

  • Performance Improvement team built a central database to better consolidate and analyze data
  • Citizen developers were able to quickly build custom applications, like an application to track the Accountable Care Organization efforts, taking the pressure off IT
  • Created Performance Improvement applications to better track milestones, deliverables, and outcomes

Benefits

  • Immediate visibility into all Performance Improvement initiatives
  • Real-time data analysis processes that took minutes or hours instead of weeks or months
  • Quick Bases' flexible application management allowed for users to rapidly develop and deploy new applications
  • Cost of savings realized through reduced development time and resource demand
  • Opened communication which helped eliminate redundancy and increase spread of successful work efforts

A Legacy of Care

Since it’s founding in 1877, OSF HealthCare, an integrated Catholic healthcare system owned and operated by the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, has worked to provide compassionate care to those in need.

The Peoria, Illinois-based healthcare system since grown to a more than $2.3 billion company while providing compassionate care to nearly three million people. It operates 7 acute care and 4 critical access facilities, 75 OSF Medical Group locations, 193 clinical departments, and two nursing colleges.

Boosting efficiency across this large hospital network is no easy task. OSF HealthCare has strived to improve efficiency, and in 2009 created a Performance Improvement division to help facilitate priorities and guidance for strategic transformation, conduct performance monitoring and reporting, and identify performance improvement opportunities.

The Performance Improvement division also helps allocate and prioritize project resources, execute strategically linked improvement programs and projects, and portfolio and change management.

Transparency and communicating best practices across the large network have often proved challenging without a central tool or process to share information. By the time data could be collected, analyzed, and shared with other teams across the network, the information might already be out of date.

OSF HealthCare needed visibility into all Performance Improvement initiatives to better understand where efficiencies could be gained, assess any redundancies, monitor progress, and track outcomes across the system.

Becky Buchen, OSF HealthCare’s Vice President of Performance Improvement, wanted one solution that would improve transparency and efficiency to enable executives to make more informed decisions.

"Absent a shared tool with standard definitions and processes, advancing our portfolio management became extremely challenging as we grew as a Ministry," Buchen said.

OSF HealthCare’s Information Technology team was backlogged with mission-critical technologies that support direct patient care, leaving them little time to focus on other endeavors like the Performance Improvement initiatives.

The Performance Improvement team needed a platform that could be managed by citizen developers who may have no technical background. After evaluating several platforms, the team chose Quick Base because it offered the fastest path to developing applications even if users had little to no traditional coding background.

"Developing the application wasn’t just about what we want to use the data for at that moment, but also for what was needed to support transparency for some time in the future," said Susan Christian, OSF HealthCare’s Strategic Program Director.

An Innovative Platform

The team started by building a central database to allow team leaders to consolidate and analyze data from the entire portfolio of Performance Improvement programs. Built-in dashboards and reports gave all team members access to the information in real time.

The database application also enabled the Performance Improvement team to track and share key milestones and outcomes with each other and leadership stakeholders.

"All of our ministry leaders are accountable for the execution of our strategies, so we needed insight into the initiatives and the impact each one had on our results," said Tim Gullett, OSF’s Portfolio Management Office Program Manager. "Having all of that information in one place has streamlined our ability to get the right data into the right hands for more agile decision making."

Quick Base also allowed users to quickly build and deploy new applications in just hours rather than waiting for months for traditional IT application development. They are also able to perform data analysis on programs in minutes, not days or weeks.

"Now we can pull data from Quick Base to provide transparency into mission work," said Gullett.

Living Up to a Promise

OSF HealthCare now has about 250 Quick Base users which has helped increase transparency and improve efficiency in the projects driving improvement across the organization.

Automated workflows via built-in notifications and triggers have allowed for an improved collaboration and sharing of information across teams, while real-time dashboards and reporting ensure that important information is always up to date. Organization leaders were able to quickly assess what was working and what wasn’t in order to make more informed decisions.

"Our ability to build a robust tool linking our strategic goals, prioritized initiatives, goal owners, ongoing progress monitoring, detailed reporting and outcomes tracking has provided significant value across the Ministry," said Buchen.

OSF HealthCare officials said Quick Base has also offered them the flexibility to create new applications to solve unforeseen challenges or adapt on the fly. For example, the Performance Improvement team has been able to develop applications that meet the demands of multiple strategic supporting arms across OSF HealthCare. The result is a more efficient organization that delivers the highest-quality care.

"We make decisions based on our mission to serve with the greatest care and love, and Quick Base helps us do that," said Gullett.

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