Post-pandemic recovery shows some bright spots
Asante is not yet through the “post-pandemic economic transition” affecting health care, as Chief Strategy Officer Dennie Conrad put it at a recent Asante Leadership Forum. But results in the mid-year Balanced Scorecard show bright spots emerging.
The scorecard contains 10 measures under six domains, all of which help drive and measure performance in key areas. A “green” classification means Asante is likely to reach the goal when the fiscal year ends in September. “Yellow” indicates that a measure may or may not reach its target. Red means the goal won’t be reached.
So far this year, several measures are in the green. Asante’s job vacancy rate has dropped to 11.4% since the beginning of the fiscal year in October 2022. At its peak, that rate was 15.1%. Asante’s Talent Acquisition hired 964 new employees over the past seven months. Likewise, turnover is showing signs of slowing, thanks to work by the employee retention team.
At $12,375, the cost-per-CMI-adjusted discharge (the cost for each discharged hospital patient) is currently over the target of $12,105 but still falls into the green category. And a recovery-related measure — developing and implementing at least five stewardship opportunities — surpassed the target with seven initiatives completed.
Meeting inpatient experience goals is always a challenge, but for the first time in recent memory, Asante has exceeded the goal with an HCAHPS composite score of 70.2% compared with a target of 69.45%. Under the accessible services domain, the percentage of patients who receive a CT or MRI scan within 14 days is likely to meet the target of 25% by year’s end. Likewise, under the ease-of-use domain, the percentage of appointments made through direct scheduling is now at 8.1% — well above the 7% year-end goal.
The key measure of financial performance, the EBIDA margin, remains below the year-end goal of 7.3%. As of May, Asante’s EBIDA margin was 5.6%. Asante used to use operating margin as the mark of its financial health, but EBIDA (earnings before interest, depreciation and amortization) provides a more historically consistent picture. This measure is in the yellow because it’s possible the ongoing stewardship work will continue to improve finances to meet the year-end goal.
Also under target are APP’s ambulatory experience and quality scores. The aim is to reach 4.25 stars; currently APP is at 2.84 stars. The stars accumulate throughout the calendar year in this measure so reaching our target is still very feasible. Likewise, the combined hospital patient safety rate — determined by the number of hospital-acquired or surgical-site infections — is .40, higher than the goal of .31, but could be turned around by year’s end.
Finally, employee engagement is at the current target of 3.9, but that number could change dramatically in either direction after the results from the August Employee Voice Survey are tabulated. The current numbers are based on mini entity-based “pulse surveys” that were sent earlier this fiscal year. The full survey will drill down to the department level and will offer more insight into the state of the workforce.
To encourage employee feedback throughout the year, Human Resources has set up a direct email address, my************@as****.org, and invites employees to share their concerns and suggestions.
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