OSF HealthCare Raises Its Standard of Care with Quick Base
OSF HealthCare is dedicated to providing the highest quality of care to anyone who needs it, as stated in their mission: "To serve persons with the greatest care and love." Delivering on that promise means committing to continuous improvement and efficiency across a network of 7 acute care and 4 critical access facilities, 75 OSF Medical Group locations, 193 clinical departments, and two colleges of nursing. To track and manage cost-saving projects, OSF HealthCare turned to a suite of apps built on the Quick Base platform. The results are greater collaboration across teams, more efficient delivery of new programs, and greater speed to value.
- No central system for tracking project work
- Lack of technical resources to build custom solutions
- Siloed performance improvement teams resulting in a lack of transparency
- Lack of senior leadership visibility into the entire project portfolio
- Speed to value regarding spreading of successful outcomes
- Program Management Office selects Quick Base for custom app development
- Ability to rapidly build applications through citizen development
- Performance Improvement applications track milestones, deliverables, and outcomes
- Flexible application management to allow for transparent reporting
- Cross department and facility collaboration through portfolio transparency
- Immediate visibility into all Performance Improvement initiatives
- Real-time data analysis processes
- Ability to rapidly develop and deploy new apps
- Cost savings realized through reduced development time and resource demand
- Opened communication among PI practitioners, resulting in reduced duplication of efforts and increased spread of successful work efforts
- Indirectly enhanced Performance Improvement adoption across OSF HealthCare through access to real-time results
A Legacy of Care
The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis were founded in Peoria on July 16, 1877, by Mother M. Frances Krasse, O.S.F., and Bishop John Lancaster Spalding. That year, property was obtained for St. Francis Hospital, which is still the present day site of OSF Saint Francis Medical Center. Since its founding, OSF HealthCare has grown to a $2.3 billion health care company, providing compassionate care to nearly 3 million people.
Boosting efficiency across a large hospital network is no easy task. In the early 2000s, OSF HealthCare deployed the 6 Sigma process improvement methodology to drive strategy to action. In 2009, the OSF Ministry Services Performance Improvement division was formed. It serves as an integrated, enterprise-wide focused division that facilitates priorities and guidance for strategic transformation, conducts performance monitoring and reporting, and assists in identification of performance improvement opportunities.
The division also assists with the execution of strategically-linked improvement programs and projects, portfolio management, the allocation and prioritization of project resources, and change management.
Current improvement efforts occur at the system, region, and local levels with teams tasked to drive efficiency, generate cost savings, or improve quality of care. Transparency and spreading of best practices often proved challenging, as there was not a central tool or process for sharing 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 understand where efficiencies could be gained, assess possible duplication of efforts, monitor progress and track outcomes across the system. The Performance Improvement Portfolio Management Office (PMO) identified the need to find a solution to address these challenges.
Becky Buchen, Vice President, Performance Improvement, had specific requirements. "Efficient and effective portfolio management requires transparency and outcomes tracking, enabling executives to make informed decisions for the achievement of results," she says. "Absent a shared tool with standard definitions and processes, advancing our portfolio management became extremely challenging as we grew as a Ministry."
The healthcare systems Information Technology team is focused on mission-critical technologies that support direct patient care, so the Performance Improvement team sought a platform that could be managed by citizen developers without coding or programming skills. After evaluating several platforms, the team chose Quick Base because it offered the fastest path to developing apps with no coding required.
"Building an application within Quick Base wasnt the challenge. Understanding and agreeing to the information needed to support an efficient and effective PMO was," says Susan Christian, Strategic Program Director, who was responsible for the PMO. "Developing the application wasnt 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."
Quick Base as an Innovative Platform for Outcomes Achievement
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 information in real time. This database application 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," says Tim Gullett, PMO 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."
The speed at which the team can build new Quick Base apps empowers it to manage initiatives of any size. For example, when the team was given 60 days to create an app to provide transparency and tracking for Accountable Care Organization work efforts, team members created a new Quick Base app to empower collaboration across organizational leaders and partners — meeting the 60-day deadline with room to spare. Gullett estimates this process would have taken much longer or resulted in a manual, disjointed tracking system without a solution like Quick Base.
"Now we can pull data from Quick Base to provide transparency into mission work, whether it is specific to PI, ACO, Finance and Accounting outcomes tracking or our leadership development to support best-practice execution across our organization," says Gullett.
Living Up to a Promise
Since deploying Quick Base as a citizen development platform, OSF HealthCare has gained transparency and efficiency in the projects driving improvement across the organization. Approximately 250 employees access apps and data from Quick Base, driving deeper insights and collaboration to capitalize on opportunities, making real-time business decisions in support of raising standards of patient care.
"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 for executives, PI practitioners and many other Mission Partners," says Buchen. Automated workflows via built-in notifications and triggers keep work flowing across teams, while real-time dashboards and reporting ensure that important information is always up to date. Organization leaders can quickly see whats working and what isnt, and remove obstacles to program success.
The key benefits of Quick Base at OSF HealthCare include:
- Dramatic reduction in the time required to perform data analysis on programs — from weeks to minutes
- Rapid application development with Quick Bases no-code app building tools means the team can build a new application in hours rather than waiting for months for traditional IT application development
- Flexibility to create new apps to solve unforeseen challenges or adapt on the fly
Ultimately, the Performance Improvement team has been able to utilize the flexibility of Quick Base to develop applications that meet the demands of multiple strategic supporting arms across OSF HealthCare. The end 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," says Gullett.