Transforming rehab care through data

In 2015, the OSF Rehabilitation division was charged with increasing the value of service it provides its patients. As a result, the department needed to transform how it was delivering care across the Ministry. This meant bringing all therapy services into one new division as opposed to having them operate as individual entities throughout the organization.

A major challenge was the lack of an easy or accurate way to track how the rehabilitation departments at each hospital were performing. Data on everything from patient access and productivity to referral volumes and financial performance came from multiple sources and it was difficult to validate the information. As the business leader of this effort, Jason Rodeghero, PhD, DPT, tapped the Healthcare Analytics team, a part of OSF Innovation, for help.

“We wanted the ability to look at overall Ministry performance on various measures with one tool,” said Rodeghero who is now the Senior Vice President of Rehabilitation & Occupational Health. “This includes being able to filter data and look at regional, hospital and clinic performance, all the way down to the performance of our individual therapists.”

Working hand-in-hand with OSF Rehabilitation leadership, the Healthcare Analytics and Reporting group built a Dashboard that gives leaders Ministry wide a comprehensive view of a variety of measures throughout the entire department as well as an Explorer that allows users to gather more granular data. All of this information is necessary to make informed decisions about the division and its operations.

Building a Rehab Dashboard

The project to build a Rehab Dashboard began in January 2017 with an analytics team of four as well as collaborative work by Rodeghero and other members of the OSF Rehabilitation leadership group. Understanding that the division wanted a Rehab Dashboard that included a variety of data, the development was broken up into four phases to include financial, hospital accounts, productivity and referrals information from each OSF hospital.

Because data was stored in different places and in different ways, the Healthcare Analytics and Reporting group had to essentially identify barriers to finding certain information, find all sources of data, determine what was valid, clean it all up and simplify it. Sometimes operational practices had to be changed within the Rehab division to ensure the data being received was usable.

“We couldn’t make a Dashboard that would give the clearest data without good data going in,” said Bryan Kaiser, director of Analytics and Reporting. “It was the teamwork between our group and Rehab leaders as well as an iterative process that allowed us fix any problems that came up with our data collection efforts.”

Along the way regional directors throughout the organization tested the Rehab Dashboard and provided feedback, creating a better product. At the end of the multi-phased 16 month process, the Healthcare Analytics and Reporting group had created a Rehab Dashboard for higher level summaries of the data.

Leaders can get an overview of the financials by cost center, facility, region or the overall health care system. Meanwhile, the development of a second tool, called an Explorer allows users to go a step further and find out how many times a specific charge code was used.

“These tools give our executive leadership 100% transparency into the performance of this new division and affords them a higher level of visibility and assurance that we are meeting the expectations of highest quality care for every patient,” said Rodeghero.

Overall, the Rehab Dashboard is helping OSF Rehabilitation Services drive performance improvement. The division has seen productivity increase 15 percent after standardizing how it is measured, establishing targets, educating clinicians and reporting their performance regularly.

How does this work impact patients?

To increase the value of the services the Rehab division offers, the group had to understand its overall performance to begin with. Having detailed information about referral volumes, patterns, who is referring, scheduling challenges and access to providers ensures leaders have the information they need to make the right decision to improve care.

Looking ahead, the Rehab division will expand its data collection to include patient satisfaction and outcomes. Patient satisfaction data will be gathered through surveys to learn more details about the patient experience while receiving care. The department will also soon be implementing a process to track function outcomes, the amount of functional improvement a patient makes while they are under the care of an OSF HealthCare therapist.

Overall, both Rodeghero and Kaiser agree the success of the Rehab Dashboard and Explorer wouldn’t have been possible without commitment to collaborate by both teams.

“Occasionally people come to us with the hope of creating a Dashboard or Explorer, but they aren’t ready to invest the time,” said Kaiser. “It’s difficult to make something great in that type of situation, so we need both parties equally invested. In the Rehab Dashboard, that definitely happened.”

Last Updated: April 4, 2022

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About Author: Denise Molina-Weiger

Denise Molina-Weiger is a Writing Coordinator for OSF HealthCare, where she has worked since March 2015. She initially came to OSF to write about the work taking place at the Jump Trading Simulation & Education Center, one of the world’s largest simulation and innovation centers and went on to become the Media Relations Coordinator for OSF Innovation which was developed to help the hospital system lead the way in transforming care.

Before joining the OSF HealthCare team, Denise was a reporter for Peoria Public Radio for ten years, writing on everything from politics, housing and transportation issues to hospital care in the region. She earned her bachelor’s degree in radio broadcasting from Western Illinois University in 2003 and received her master’s degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield in 2004.

Denise lives in West Peoria with her husband, son and two crazy dogs. In her spare time, she likes to snuggle on the couch with her family and watch cooking shows on Netflix. She loves taking road trips with her family and then complaining about it when they are over.

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Categories: Innovation