"We have created scorecards here across the system to have a friendly competition between all the hospitals… We want to be the best, and we are going to do that transparently. We issue reports weekly, monthly, some even daily, so everyone knows where they stand, and we really dive into the data."
Helping patients avoid a readmission
Barnabas also uses data analytics to identify patients that are at a high risk of being readmitted and provides a six-week follow-up to help them stay out of the hospital.
"The first week we do a home visit at no cost to the patient so we can physically see their home and check on their medication management," Ahearn explains. "After that, we make sure they have a follow-up appointment with their doctor and then we make sure they keep it. We reschedule the appointment for them if they don't make it."
In Ahearn's mind, it is incumbent upon the healthcare provider to help patients avoid a readmission, something he says hospitals in general have not traditionally emphasized enough.
"We are kidding ourselves to hand someone a piece of paper at discharge and expect them to understand," he says. "We've been more interested as an industry in checking off the box as opposed to actually making sure they understand."