How Hospitals May Save $1.2 Million with the Primary Care Dream Team

b>In a recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), they conducted an analysis and made a suggestion of what it would take to a Hospital to save over $1 million dollars by hiring 9 professionals to work with a primary care team. This team is called the Primary Care Dream Team.

The cost of readmission is high and ways to reduce readmission while improving care coordination is valuable. The average physicians at the Association of Medical College estimate that 9 physicians for 10,000 Americans. What is the best way to plan to care for this community and what role does software play in this?

Let us examine the city of Miami where I work and live. In Miami, we have 34 public hospitals within the area of Miami-Dade County.

Miami-Dade Public Hospitals By Bed.

As a public hospital, Jackson Memorial is the largest. Assuming the team they have has 9 primary physicians how much money would it cost to afford the Primary Care Dream Team.

In the PWC study, in addition to 9 Primary Care physicians, PwC suggested adding team members who could bring value to the core team. It would cost $605,000 to hire this full-time team but it expected that $1.2 Million would be saved. Imagine the return you would get allowing the dream team to leverage new software to increase productivity.

What role would software play in assisting the dream team in doing their jobs? Here is how it would work for leveraging software for measuring engagement during bedside ordering.

The dream team includes one dietitian. Which led me to ask, how can 1 dietitian set out the meal plan for 10,000 patients? A dietitian who is tasked with making sure patients are eating healthy and that the population is being planned for might be heavy task alone. Through automation and informatics, a dietician could use a web application for planning meals given to groups of patients. 

After preparation, the dietician could then send a notification to all members of the team about the prepared order adjusting based on dietary restrictions.  If the care team can view this plan and check daily on the data showing who has eaten what then the team increases in productivity. Other options one may consider is also allowing the team to offer options to increase their experience or allowing family members in the care process to know the dietary instructions of their loved one.

That already cuts down the cost of your care dream team and also saves you a lot more money (and paper) when it comes to readmission. It’s estimated by Todays Dietician that 1/3rd of patients admitted into the hospital is malnutrition. Which leads me to think why is this happening? Perhaps the issue is a lack of dietitians or a shortage of them in hospitals.

This is perhaps why many people in the study agreed that having a dietitian on the team is super helpful. In Miami, a friend I know who runs a dietitian company can attest that the role of a dietitian is important in solving this issue, but more so how software can help them do their job better.

Where does Patient Engagement play a role in the care dream team and getting a return on investment for hiring and training these new workers with the primary team?

If we look at the customer spending chart we already know that there is a certain amount of money allocated yearly for these patients. To make it easier for the hospital, family and patient leveraging mobile technology may be key.

In this chart, the elderly are the highest cost for spending on a patient. The second highest cost is for those who are old or who face a Chronic Disease. So if you don’t have the budget you still spend a few thousand years on your health care. Considering that it would be a good strategy to consider subscribing your patients to patient engagement solutions.

Giving the patient access to the data or menus you are working on you can make it easier to follow-up on appointments or send instructions to the family members. By including the family as a part of your care team you will create a bigger level of success. If you use the dream team model for employment you’ll most likely have Community Health workers who can act as managers for facilitating this information.