‘We’ve shortened patient stays, reduced readmission rates and reduced mortality rates by acting on evidence.’
David Mates, CEO at Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB)
CDHB has been a Lightfoot client since 2011 and has been using evidence to fuel decision ever since, initially for selected pathways and now across the organisation. In this article, CEO David Mates describes the expereince of Canterbury District Health Board.
‘We’ve proven that without a patient journey view, you can have every department hitting targets 98 percent of the time but still not deliver healthier patients into the community,’ says David Mates, CEO at Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB).
‘We’ve shortened patient stays, reduced readmission rates and reduced mortality rates by acting on evidence – it’s a powerful tool for 21st century healthcare.’
‘It’s no longer enough to know how each organisation is performing – each person’s role in improving the patient journey and the patient’s outcome is what is scrutinised,’ stated Mates. Across CDHB, Lightfoot’s sfn Viewer provides a real-time visualisation of the patient journey for the designated pathway. But it’s much more than a pretty representation. Seasonal adjustments are incorporated and the journey impact of performance changes in one department is shown automatically across the whole pathway.
‘Everyone now understands the flow of patients, the knock-on effect to the whole pathway and where the bottlenecks are,’ Mates said. ‘And the root cause of that bottleneck can be investigated by just clicking through to sophisticated monitors and variation charts. So again we can make a fact-based decision that we know will positively impact the patient journey.’
The whole-of-hospital evidence-based orientation is also making an impact structurally. Recognising the importance of a patient journey view and aligning all the departments to support that journey is vital but just the first step.
‘Evidence is the best antidote for hypotheses, gut-feel and warring opinions,’ said Mates.
‘We’ve made a step-change that has everyone thinking “what-if” and then checking how the data predicts the outcome. And clinicians love data as the first and final arbiter – it’s the highest level of clinical engagement we’ve ever had.’