SupplyCopia Launches Cost, Quality and Outcomes (CQO) Report on McLeod Health Total Joint Replacement Pilot

Year-long study results in development of perioperative dashboard that identifies supply combinations that improve patient care quality, reduce costs, drive greater revenue

Basking Ridge, NJ – July 15, 2021 – SupplyCopia today published a report on a year-long pilot program conducted in collaboration with McLeod Health, a locally-owned, not-for-profit healthcare system based in South Carolina. The pilot program focused on total joint replacement procedures, and resulted in several major accomplishments, including the development of a perioperative dashboard that provides complete visibility to key Cost, Quality and Outcomes (CQO) variables that help the system deliver the highest quality care while optimizing costs.

At McLeod Health, total joint replacement is among the procedures with the greatest patient outcomes — “life changing,” in the words of their patient population. While the McLeod Health total joint service line was critical to the health and well-being of its patients, continued cuts to reimbursements were causing a strain on the system.

A cross-functional leadership team assembled to address the pressing need of reducing spend without negatively impacting the exceptional care being delivered to McLeod patients. Led by Dr. Michael Rose, an anesthesiologist and Chief Innovation Officer for McLeod Health, the team featured key business area leaders including:

  • Dr. Patrick Denton, Orthopedic Surgeon and Medical Director of McLeod Orthopedic Services
  • Dale Locklair, Senior Vice President of Planning and Facilities Management
  • Boyd McCluskey, Director of Resource Optimization
  • Carmen Winfield, Vice President of Supply Chain

The Challenges

The central challenge was creating visibility to the variables that either positively or negatively impact CQO – in as close to real-time as possible. But like most health systems, the data at McLeod Health resided in separate systems that lacked integration and spanned different areas of the organization:

  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system for item master and purchase order data
  • Inventory Point of Use (POU) system for supply consumption data
  • Cost accounting system for financial data (supplies billed, reimbursements from payers)
  • Quality system for patient outcomes data, including infections, readmissions, etc.

Developing a New CQO Solution

The McLeod team partnered with SupplyCopia to develop a user-friendly dashboard to support its total joint CQO pilot. The SupplyCopia SaaS solution easily combines disparate datasets and applies artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to generate actionable insights based on CQO variables.

By leveraging its Virtual Item Master to cleanse, classify and code, SupplyCopia was able to enhance the data from each of the McLeod systems (ERP, POU, cost accounting, quality) so it became analyzable.

SupplyCopia then made this data accessible through a perioperative dashboard, which presents Cost, Quality and Outcomes information by surgeon and by procedure as a consolidated report. Dashboard users can then drill down on specific items included in a procedure, identify the costs associated with them and then correlate items to clinical outcomes.

One Success Led to Another

With the development of the dashboard, the team at McLeod now had data to support and direct “a multitude of decisions around transactions,” said Dr. Rose. “Now we could visualize these variables and some really phenomenal insights came from that. We identified significant variation in materials, with thousands of combinations among nine or 10 surgeons. We could begin identifying which combinations could be put together to get best outcomes, lowest costs. With this new informatics architecture, SupplyCopia was able to deeply dive into our supply chain, helping understand the fundamental implants, but also, all the rest of the materials in the OR that go into the cost of the care. They were able to give us the combinations of items physicians used that we had no visibility to before.”

Dr. Denton added, “We went into this pilot with a goal of increasing quality while reducing costs. We knew one of the outcomes would be increasing standardization. We brought together our team of surgeons to determine a methodology. SupplyCopia helped create a composite score made up of mortality, morbidity, length of stay variation and complications, with results by procedure and by surgeon. Now, all this data is delivered via the dashboard, giving us a place to consider alterations to the cost formula for elements of care, while maintaining highest level quality. Surgeons now have data to start adjusting CQO dials.”

“The dashboard has become a way for us to improve processes and spend management related to total joint replacement,” said Winfield. “Supply chain used the dashboard to drive our value analysis agenda and find opportunities for savings. We began visiting with physicians and service line committees, using the dashboard data to discuss ‘where are the differences?’ It became a tool that we want our clinical team, OR staff and physicians to use. While supply chain focuses on identifying savings opportunities and contract optimization, we are also working cross-functionally to improve standardization.”

Going Forward

Through the team’s work with SupplyCopia, an effective informatics system has been built that weaves together highly granular data, including purchasing, reimbursement and patient demographics, and delivers results via the perioperative dashboard now being used, understood and relied upon by the entire cross-functional team.

“We are honored to work with the McLeod Health team,” said Ashok Muttin, CEO, SupplyCopia. “They are truly the industry leaders in their work to gain visibility to the variables that drive CQO. What’s been exciting has been seeing the participation from their surgical team, and the growing alignment between supply chain and clinical. This organization is making a difference in the way CQO can be tracked, understood and adjusted in the future. The joint replacement pilot will make way for work in other service lines and across the industry.”

About SupplyCopia

The healthcare supply chain grew from disconnected systems and processes. Today, SupplyCopia brings together data, technology, and teams for a smarter, more aligned supply chain. SupplyCopia uniquely addresses the critical lack of supply chain business intelligence that healthcare organizations face, especially problematic because it can adversely affect cost, quality and patient outcomes. SupplyCopia applies the latest data science and software technology to bring maximum transparency to both major constituent groups of the supply chain – providers and suppliers – to the benefit of both and expense of neither. Learn more at supplycopia.com

About McLeod Health

Founded in 1906, McLeod Health has a leading regional presence in Northeastern South Carolina and Southeastern North Carolina McLeod Health. The healthcare system is supported by the strength of approximately 850 members on its medical staff and more than 2,700 licensed nurses. McLeod Health is also composed of approximately 8,900 employees and more than 90 physician practices throughout its 18-county service area. With seven hospitals, McLeod Health operates three Health and Fitness Centers, a Sports Medicine and Outpatient Rehabilitation Center, Hospice and Home Health Services. The hospitals within McLeod Health include: McLeod Regional Medical Center, McLeod Health Dillon, McLeod Health Loris, McLeod Health Seacoast, McLeod Health Cheraw, McLeod Health Clarendon and McLeod Behavioral Health. On the coast, the McLeod Health Carolina Forest complex has opened an Emergency Department and the first two of seven medical park office buildings as an extension of McLeod Loris Seacoast Hospital.