Premier Breakthroughs Conference & Exhibition 2011

Premier focuses on innovation

Approximately 4,000 healthcare providers, suppliers and other experts attended the Premier healthcare alliance’s 2011 Breakthroughs Conference, which took place this summer in Nashville, Tenn.

Addressing attendees, Premier Chief Operating Officer Mike Alkire stressed the importance of innovation to help pave the way for change in healthcare. “Sometimes, you achieve innovation by subtraction – by getting rid of the things you don’t need and focusing on the things you do,” he was quoted as saying. “We need to build enough resiliency into our healthcare system to be able to adapt to change or – even better – capitalize on it. Innovation is what will allow us to build something that hasn’t been built before.” (See this month’s “Executive Interview” with Mike Alkire.)

Clinical Innovation Series
With its new Clinical Innovation Series, Premier introduced to its members “market-shifting clinical procedures, diagnostic practices and therapeutic interventions that offer significant quality improvement and cost savings.” Said Alkire, “This program takes Premier’s focus on innovation to the next level by introducing hands-on, industry-changing clinical procedures in collaboration with our contracted suppliers.”

A multidisciplinary committee of Premier members selected the contract categories of focus for the 2011 series. Sessions on those categories included: peripherally inserted center catheters and the P-wave; parenteral nutritional; improved patient safety using patient-controlled analgesia pause protocol with continuous, integrated, wireless respiratory monitoring; developing a sustainable treatment model for the severely septic patient population; improving catheter maintenance to reduce central line bloodstream infections; synthetic bone graft and the patient’s bone marrow aspirate; and small-volume infusions.

Innovation Celebration
Eighteen medical innovations were featured during the Premier’s third annual Innovation Celebration. The innovations were selected by a committee of clinicians and other Premier alliance members based on their ability to positively affect the healthcare industry.

Innovations included technologies that: assist in the diagnosis of HIV-1/HIV-2 infection; provide automated microbial identification; automate the process of monitoring vital indicator data related to urine output, fluid management and core body temperature; allow for continuous assessment of neck injuries; aid intra-hospital transport of newborn babies; create under-the-skin access for hemodialysis; position the patient’s arm in orthopedic or trauma procedures; spot-check hemoglobin in less than a minute; employ magnetic endoscopic imaging to help GI physicians and others visualize the colonoscope as it travels through the colon during a colonoscopy; and more.

Premier Energy Program
Premier launched its Premier Energy Program, designed to promote conservation, provide energy procurement options, and assist with the use of renewable energy products to lower overall energy costs. “These strategies are integrated into our energy program to provide savings opportunities outside of the typical physician/clinical preference discussions,” Michael Georgulis, vice president of strategic sourcing, was quoted as saying.

Premier is searching for consulting firms interested in becoming turnkey operators working with Premier members, regionally and locally managing Premier’s Energy Program as contracted suppliers.

At press time, Premier was preparing to hold two group buys in this category:

  • A wind turbine group buy, intended not only to provide discounts on turbines and towers, but to provide free wind energy assessments and installation estimates.
  • An energy conservation and management group buy, said to offer multiple energy-related products, including EV (electric vehicle) chargers; LED lamps and fixtures; energy-efficient transformers, motors and drives; low-voltage switchgear; low-voltage circuit breakers; energy-efficient water treatment products, systems and services; and more.

At the Conference, Premier released PhysicianFocus™, a technology that Premier hopes will be used by practicing physicians and physician leaders to demonstrate value and identify opportunities for performance improvement. Cleansed with 1,500-plus data validations and updated frequently, the data is benchmarked against over 20 percent of all U.S. discharges from more than 750 hospitals, and also supports drill-down to individual patient details, according to Premier. Physicians and administrators can access the data through a Web-based interface. With this information, physicians can better understand their performance; identify care practice variations; and reduce mortality, complications, readmissions and hospital-acquired conditions, according to Premier.

Overall, more than 200 hospitals, health systems and suppliers were recognized for cost and quality improvements, operational excellence, innovation and a dedication to diversity. This includes:

  • Forty hospitals and health systems that were honored for exceptional supply chain performance and innovation.
  • Six hospitals that were honored for delivering high-value healthcare as part of the Premier’s QUEST®: High Performing Hospitals collaborative.

Winners of the 2011 Supply Chain Innovation Award were:

  • Alamance Regional Medical Center, Burlington, N.C.
  • Alexian Brothers Health System, Arlington Heights, Ill.
  • Baptist Health South Florida, Coral Gables, Fla.
  • Carolinas HealthCare System, Charlotte, N.C. (a Diversity Award honorable mention).
  • Genesis Health System, Davenport, Iowa.
  • Greater New York Hospital Association.
  • Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, Newport Beach, Calif.
  • McLaren Health Care Corporation, Flint, Mich.
  • Mercy Health Partners, Knoxville, Tenn.
  • Mission Hospital and Health Systems, Asheville, N.C.
  • Presbyterian Hospital, Albuquerque, N.M. (a QUEST Award honorable mention).
  • SSM Health Care, St. Louis, Mo.
  • Tufts Medical Center, Boston, Mass.
  • University Hospitals Health System, Cleveland, Ohio.

2011 Supply Chain Excellence Award winners were:

  • Adventist Health System (Adventist GlenOaks Hospital of Glendale Heights, Ill.; Florida Hospital Apopka of Apopka, Fla.; Florida Hospital East Orlando; and Takoma Regional Hospital of Greeneville, Tenn.)
  • Bon Secours Health System (Bon Secours Community Hospital of Port Jervis, N.Y.; Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center of Mechanicsville, Va., which was also named Most Improved for community hospitals.)
  • Catholic Health Partners (Marcum & Wallace Memorial Hospital of Irvine, Ky.)
  • Excela Health (Frick Hospital of Mount Pleasant, Pa.)
  • Memorial University Medical Center (a QUEST Award honorable mention).
  • Methodist Health Services Corp. (Methodist Medical Center of Peoria, Ill.)
  • Methodist Hospital of Henderson, Ky.

(System level award).

  • Presbyterian Healthcare Services (Lincoln County Medical Center of Ruidoso, N.M.; Presbyterian Espanola Hospital of Espanola, N.M.; and Socorro General Hospital of Socorro, N.M., which was also Most Improved for critical access hospitals.)
  • Summa Health System of Akron, Ohio (Summa Akron City Hospital, a QUEST Award honorable mention and an AEIX Award recipient).
  • Tanner Medical Center of Carrollton, Ga.
  • Texas Health Resources (Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Allen of Allen, Texas.)
  • University Hospitals Health System (UH Conneaut Medical Center of Conneaut, Ohio; UH Geneva Medical Center of Geneva, Ohio.)
  • University of Louisville Hospital, Louisville, Ky.
  • Valley Health System (War Memorial Hospital Inc. of Berkeley Springs, W.Va.; Warren Memorial Hospital of Front Royal, Va., which was also Most Improved for teaching or academic hospitals.)
  • Vanguard Health Systems: Detroit Medical Center of Detroit (system level award and a Premier Diversity Award winner); DMC Surgery Hospital of Madison Heights, Mich.; DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital of Detroit.

Diversity Award
Detroit Medical Center of Detroit and Print Media Corp. of Miami, Fla., were recognized with the Diversity Award for purchasing goods and services from diverse suppliers, and developing procurement strategies aligned with their communities. The annual award recognizes a Premier member hospital or health system and a contracted supplier.

Premier recognized one additional health system and supplier with honorable mentions for their programs to support supplier diversity: Carolinas HealthCare System of Charlotte, N.C. (recognized for the second year in a row as an honorable mention); and Owens & Minor Medical Inc. of Mechanicsville, Va.

Hospitals participating in the Premier’s ASCEND® (Accelerated Supply Chain Endeavor) program saved more than $58 million in two years through simplified and consistent purchasing processes, appropriate clinical utilization and specially negotiated contracts, Premier reported. Fifteen ASCEND members saved more than $1 million, including Cincinnati, Ohio-based TriHealth, with $4.1 million implemented savings.

ASCEND hospitals achieved these savings by accessing the best possible pricing in multiple contract categories, including:

  • Drug eluting coronary stents: $3,470,485.
  • Vascular compressions therapy: $1,209,814.
  • Clinical reference lab: $1,696,563.
  • Standard hypodermics and prefilled syringes: $1,529,170.
  • General urologicals: $1,229,665.
  • Integrated platform: $1,280,386.
  • Blood specimen collections: $1,004,046.

TriHealth was one of five providers to receive the inaugural ASCEND Peak Performance Award. Other winners were Alamance Regional Medical Center (Burlington, N.C); Baptist Health System, Inc. (Jacksonville, Fla.); East Alabama Medical Center (Opelika, Ala); and St. Anthony’s Medical Center (St. Louis). Award winners were selected based on savings achieved, as well as overall participation in ASCEND (data submission for benchmarking, education session participation).