Mercy Lowers Surgical Costs by $9.42 Million: Davies Award Deep Dives

Making data accessible to clinicians saves time for patients and lowers costs

St. Louis-based health system Mercy was recently recognized for their successes in improving their perioperative services with a HIMSS Davies Enterprise Award. This achievement was made possible thanks to a new set of dashboards, which Mercy used to give surgeons and leadership real-time access to their perioperative data in Epic. About two-and-a-half years after the program was implemented, Mercy had achieved a total savings of $9.42 million for all surgical procedures across their perioperative departments. One example is the median cost of a total knee surgery, which dropped from $7,045 in 2014 to $5,527 in 2016.

Before they began the project, Mercy had been manually combining data from many different sources into spreadsheets and other forms, and key performance indicators could take weeks or months to gather. Now, having that data readily available in Epic is saving Mercy 2,300 hours a month at each location, on average. Mercy’s leadership used the dashboards to compare surgical costs and outcomes, identify best practices, and reduce variation, while surgeons used their own dashboards to see details on supply costs and compare their cost rankings among their peers.

Mercy’s improvements didn’t just save them money, though. Patients have been receiving care faster as well, now that clinicians are spending less time looking for the data they need to make clinical decisions. In particular, Mercy saw their number of on-time surgery starts increase from 49% to 65%, and they reduced room turnover time by 11 minutes.

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