Camden Clark Medical Center (CCMC) is a 327-bed not-for-profit community hospital in Parkersburg, West Virginia that serves the mid-Ohio Valley. The facility provides a broad range of services, including behavioral health, emergency and trauma, general surgery, pediatric care, and full physical therapy and outpatient services. As the community's hospital for more than a century, Camden Clark maintains a leadership role as the region’s primary source for advanced health care and wellness programs. Accenture helped CCMC implement a process improvement effort to redesign Care Management that shortened patients’ average lengths of stay, reduced readmission rates and streamlined care delivery, while generating millions of dollars in savings.
WVU Medicine, the largest health system in West Virginia, teamed with Accenture on a year-long initiative to improve the operating performance and bottom line of CCMC, one of its largest hospitals and physician practice organizations. CCMC was experiencing significant financial losses due to changing market dynamics and loss of market share, inefficiencies in operations due to the recent acquisition of a local competitor, and inefficiencies in day-to-day operating procedures related to both inpatient care and its outpatient/physician network practices. They were also facing reimbursement penalties from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for hospitals with too many patient readmissions within 30 days of discharge.
To solve the problem, CCMC and Accenture designed and implemented a performance improvement roadmap targeting six core areas of operations, along with a transformation of the hospital’s project management structure. The initiative, called New Horizons, achieved both cost savings and revenue enhancements, focusing on organizational changes, technology and process improvements. These benefits were all realized within less than a year of launching the project.
Accenture began Phase 1 work, using its performance improvement diagnostic and assessment strategy to determine the highest priorities for change and to support an overall transformation of the Care Management model. The team assessed the current Care Management functions/processes and patient flow to identify inefficiencies that were driving excessive lengths of stay, high readmission rates and other patient care concerns.
Key issues that emerged from this review included a lack of defined standards for Care Management and inconsistent access to diagnostic tests and services, which were creating bottlenecks in patient flow and delays in the care delivery process. The staff was also not monitoring Length of Stay (LOS) and readmission metrics, which meant they weren’t focused on driving improvements in these areas.
Based on this assessment, the Accenture team created a new process improvement plan, to create standardized functions/processes to support the new Care Management model with integrated Patient Navigation. The changes would help to streamline care delivery, eliminate bottlenecks and delays, and create a formalized follow-up process for patients post-discharge.
In Phase 2, Accenture and CCMC established joint work teams to address New Horizons’ performance options and opportunities. Accenture supported the entire change process with its proven Program Value Office (PVO) framework, which was a critical element in the success of the change management process. It established the infrastructure and rigor to track and manage project progress and results.
A key component of the Phase 2 performance improvement initiative was the “Quick Wins,” which are targeted, easy to implement programs designed to accelerate results. For every quick win, the Accenture team provided a set of standard practices, training and mentoring for staff, and performance metrics and monitoring strategies to measure the impact of the change.
After nine months, CCMC achieved significant financial and operating improvements. Thanks to the efforts of the New Horizons work teams, CCMC also experienced significant cultural changes, with the organization re-energized and refocused on performance.