GE Healthcare Improves Efficiency and Patient Access at Moffitt Cancer Center

August 20, 2009

Efficiency improvements results in 900 new procedures, reduces overtime by one-third and achieves 72% on-time scheduling                                      

TAMPA, FLORIDA – More than half of U.S. hospitals are capacity constrained and unable to add patients without facility expansion or extended hours.  GE Healthcare and Moffitt Cancer Center announced an alliance aimed to optimize efficiency and care capacity, and in less than eight months Moffitt has added capacity for 900 new cancer procedures and additional operating margin.

This partnership has resulted in improved surgical processes, including predictable scheduling, on-time starts, and increasing room turnover.  Without added operating rooms or hours, the Center was able to free capacity of 900 patients and sustains improvements. 

“Providing cancer patients with timely access to care is critical,” says Braulio Vicente, senior vice president and hospital chief operating officer of Moffitt Cancer Center. “It’s why we took on this project. By becoming more efficient in the delivery of OR services, we can get patients scheduled sooner, prevent backlogs, and more easily accommodate add-on cases.”

Freeing up capacity will enable a 12 percent increase in procedural volume, which translates to around $8M annually in incremental margin, according to Vicente. With the workflow efficiencies gained, Moffitt is also on track to decrease OR staff overtime by one-third, for an estimated savings of more than $100K a year, he says.           

Moffitt Cancer Center is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a prestigious alliance of the country’s leading cancer centers. In 2009, Moffitt was named by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best hospitals for the treatment of cancer, the 11th consecutive year it has achieved that recognition. More than 48,000 patients are treated at Moffitt each year and approximately 8,100 surgical procedures performed.

 The hospital engaged the GE Healthcare Performance Solutions team to reconfigure the surgical block schedule and improve key OR processes so they could use their existing facility and staff resources more effectively. Using sophisticated computer modeling, best practices for effective governance, and Lean performance improvement techniques the GE consultants were able to help Moffitt in key areas:

  • Unlock hidden capacity in the surgical schedule. Aided by GE’s Block Optimizer™ technology, a more efficient surgical block schedule was created, enabling earlier patient scheduling and emergency prioritization. In the month of June, this resulted in 106 incremental procedures and increased OR utilization from 69% to 79%. 
  • Improve on-time starts. By redesigning operational processes, Moffitt improved first-case on-time starts from 13% to 72% in just a few months. “We’ve not only gained capacity to do more cases, we’ve seen physician and staff satisfaction levels increase because of more efficient workflow,” says Vicente.

“Moffitt is an excellent example of how a healthcare facility can expand patient care without having to invest in additional resources,” says Jennifer Naylor, consulting manager for GE Healthcare Performance Solutions. “The fact that we found significant unused capacity in a surgical department that handles such a high volume of complex procedures should be welcome news to any facility struggling with OR workflow issues. Chances are, they too have capacity waiting to be discovered.”

Based on the patient flow improvements achieved in the first months of operation, Vicente believes that Moffitt is on track to gain more than 3,000 additional hours of applied operating room time and $8 million in incremental direct margin within the first year.

“The numbers speak for themselves,” says Vicente. “We’re doing more cases. Procedures are starting on time. Overtime has dropped significantly. We’re seeing a positive revenue impact coupled with significant cost savings. Having such a good return on our investment will help us free up funds for other areas of the operation.”         

ABOUT PERFORMANCE SOLUTIONS: GE Healthcare’s Performance Solutions team is dedicated to the improvement of health systems’ clinical and financial performance. Focusing in areas for improving growth and outcomes, reducing medical errors, creating efficiency, and reducing costs all help position health systems and hospitals for success. Performance Solutions experts implement Lean, establish new management processes, develop leaders, build strategic plans and help health systems enhance their entire business cycle. Recognizing the significant challenges facing today’s hospitals, Performance Solutions is strategically aligned around five solutions: Asset Optimization, Service Line Innovation, Patient Flow, Patient Safety and Care Delivery Excellence.

ABOUT GE HEALTHCARE: GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our broad expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, performance improvement and performance solutions services help our customers to deliver better care to more people around the world at a lower cost. In addition, we partner with healthcare leaders, striving to leverage the global policy change necessary to implement a successful shift to sustainable healthcare systems.

Our "healthymagination" vision for the future invites the world to join us on our journey as we continuously develop innovations focused on reducing costs, increasing access and improving quality and efficiency around the world. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a $17 billion unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employs more than 46,000 people committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries. For more information about GE Healthcare, visit our website at www.gehealthcare.com

ABOUT H. LEE MOFFITT CANCER CENTER & RESEARCH INSTITUTE:

Located in Tampa, Fla., Moffitt Cancer Center is an NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center – a designation that recognizes Moffitt’s excellence in research and contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt currently has 15 affiliates in Florida, one in Georgia and two in Puerto Rico. Additionally, Moffitt is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a prestigious alliance of the country’s leading cancer centers, and is listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for cancer. Moffitt’s sole mission is to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.