Know How to use Real-Time Data and Save Millions

Collecting quality data and then activating it has a direct impact on patient and staff experiences, operational efficiencies, patient outcomes, and cost to deliver care. Using data to streamline processes, improve outcomes, and reduce costs is imperative as healthcare organizations move to value-based agreements. Certain programs, such as total joint replacement, have already transitioned to value-based care in the form of a bundled payment model. Bundled payments dispense one payment for an episode of care, shifting risk for quality and cost to the provider. Providers are incentivized to provide highly coordinated, effective, and cost-efficient care through this model. 

To reduce costs and improve outcomes, the Bone and Joint Center at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital utilized shadowing to collect real time data to measure the impact of a comprehensive blood management (CBM) protocol. Blood transfusion performed during total joint replacement requires additional testing, more staff time, and costs associated with sourcing blood products from a bank. Shadowing processes before and after implementation of the CBM protocol resulted in a large decrease in the rate of blood transfusion for both total knee and total hip replacement surgery. Overall, an 86% decrease was observed in total knee patients and an 89% decrease in total hip patients. More details can be seen in the image below. 

The impact of the CBM protocol had cascading effects across the department and entire hospital. The substantial decrease in transfusion resulted in fewer lab draws and associated sourcing costs leading to an annual savings of $750,000 in one department. Upon success, this protocol was scaled across the entire 25-hospital system resulting in a system savings of $8 million per year and a reduction of transfusion rates by 30%. 

The impact of a blood control protocol cannot be understood without great data. Shadowing the process in real-time made it possible to implement, measure, and see success that directly impacted patients, staff, and resource stewardship of the organization. By collecting data before and after implementation of a change you are able to measure impact and success. The data collected through this program made the business case to scale best practices across the entire organization and made a substantial impact. 

To learn more about how to collect real-time data that will drive change in your organization, check out our shadowing toolkit or email

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Posted on

October 24, 2022