Crittenton Hospital Medical Center in Rochester says it saved more than $4 million in labor costs over three years with LaborConnect labor management software from Charlotte, N.C.-based Premier Healthcare Alliance.

“We have definitely proven the value in Premier’s benchmarking-productivity system integrated into our labor productivity program,” said Gary Altman, program leader for process engineering at the hospital.

Crittenton joined the more than 500 hospitals that use LaborConnect’s OperationsAdvisor productivity and benchmarking system four and a half years ago. Over three years, CHMC saved more than $4 million in labor expenses.

OperationsAdvisor is a Web-based, total labor management system that  integrates productivity measurement with quarterly benchmarking. Hospital members of LaborConnect saved more than $120 million last year.

Altman continued, “To be compared to other hospitals at a high level is an enormous benefit. We have been pleased with the support and guidance from Premier. The best practices for establishing a labor productivity program were an excellent guide to getting us started.”

Premier helped Crittenton outline best practices, such as solid senior leadership support. The hospital’s Labor Productivity Steering Committee was reorganized with executive team members meeting weekly to strategize their labor productivity improvement. In doing so, the hospital has significantly reduced overtime. The use of agency nurses has been eliminated over two years. Physician, employee and patient satisfaction has increased with a decrease in turnover. And now, new positions are under tight control as they must result in significant savings or new revenue to be approved.

Committee members say Premier allows the hospital to protect resources, not to reduce them — since you can’t lay people off and expect to keep up morale or community image as a high quality provider.

The committee used Premier’s recommended business plan to develop department-focused initiatives that are posted on a weekly project tracker for all employees to access on the hospital’s intranet.

Each year, Crittenton critically reviews each department, but gives highest priority to those below 50 percentile. Today, the number of departments within a 5 percent variance of target has increased from 31 percent to 75 percent and continues to grow. The committee also closely monitors overtime, and new position requests with the metrics are presented to the governing board of trustees.

The deal also gives Crittenton access the Premier Performance Improvement Portal, a library of industry best practices. Participants tap into a networking community for knowledge sharing and interaction with industry specialists, hospital and health system peers and Premier’s knowledge experts.

Crittenton Hospital Medical Center, a 290-bed hospital, serves Oakland, Macomb and Lapeer counties. It provides a full continuum of clinical programs with a medical staff of nearly 500 physicians. It partners with the University of Michigan Health System for cardiac surgery and with the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center for cancer care. It is a teaching hospital for Wayne State University’s School of Medicine’s family medicine and ear, nose and throat residents.

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Premier is a performance improvement alliance of more than 2,500 U.S. hospitals and 72,000-plus other health care sites using the power of collaboration to lead the transformation to high quality, cost-effective care. Owned by hospitals, health systems and other providers, Premier maintains the nation’s most comprehensive repository of clinical, financial and outcomes information and operates a leading healthcare purchasing network.

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