A Hospital Looks to Its Own Health
Eastern Maine Medical Center
January 19, 2018
The Situation: a Healthy Hospital's Losses Mount
Eastern Maine Medical Center serves as the flagship for Eastern Maine Health System's network of eight hospitals, the second largest healthcare system in Maine. The 411‐bed facility identified the need to improve financial performance ahead of opening their $247 million campus expansion project. EMMC had established a $32 million performance improvement goal for 2014, but six months into the fiscal year, the hospital was falling behind plan. Instead of achieving a budgeted operating income of $8.8 million, the hospital was operating at a loss of $6.7 million.
"FTI provided key support at a critical time to help us drive the transformation of our Medical Group, collaborating with us to establish a governance structure, providing interim CAO support and the formation of a Leadership Council consisting of peer‐elected physician members. With FTI’s assistance we have engaged physician and non‐physician providers to achieve improved operational and financial performance and continue to further enhance our vision of being a patient‐centered, physician led, and professionally managed Medical Group." James A. Raczek, MD, FAAFP, Senior Vice President and CMO, Eastern Maine Medical Center
FTI Consulting's Role: Create Productivity Targets That Work
At EMMC, FTI Consulting performed comprehensive assessments of labor efficiencies and premium pay practices along with a thorough review of how the hospital compared to its peers. FTI identified specific opportunities for productivity improvement, the steps necessary to realize them, and worked with leaders at EMMC to achieve and sustain those improvements.
FTI consultants worked with EMMC executives to improve vacancy management effectiveness by establishing defined criteria for approving requests to fill staff openings (as well as determine whether each should be a fulltime, part‐time, or per diem position). FTI also worked with departmental leaders to improve staffing processes and increase availability of flexible staffing. As a result, requests to fill positions were critically evaluated and more often met criteria without delays due to missing information.
FTI Consulting guided the hospital in implementing Labor Analytics™, a web-based Solution that delivers online access to labor management through advanced visualizations with bi‐weekly reports detailing performance against productivity targets. Targets were developed, starting with a national database of peer organizations ‐ with appropriate normalizations to insure comparability of the data. Subsequently, EMHS’ additional seven hospitals, as well as the reference lab, have all implemented Labor Analytics™. A system‐wide productivity committee is now responsible for centralized governance that allows consistency, comparison and internal benchmarking.