VHA gave five hospitals a new award last week that recognizes their efforts to reduce costs and charges and improve patient care.
The new CFIS awards are named for VHA's Clinical Financial Information System, which the Irving, Texas-based hospital alliance contends is the largest comparative medical database in the country, containing information from nearly 8 million patient records. CFIS allows users to compare their cost and quality data with 120 other hospitals on a monthly basis.
The hospitals that were recognized through the awards were:
*Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, which created two standardized reports that can be used to gather data on specific patient populations. The formats are used for all quality and value-enhancement projects.
*Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, N.C., which generated physician profiles in nine clinical departments and reduced average charges for all patient care to $25,940 from $28,674.
*Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne, Fla., which compared data in six service lines and all physician specialties. The reports have enabled the hospital to reduce length of stay for hip and knee replacements to 6.6 days from 11.1 days in 1990.
*Parkview Memorial Hospital in Fort Wayne, Ind., which also developed physician profiles to reduce length of stay and create clinical pathways.
*Stormont-Vail Regional Medical Center in Topeka, Kan., which used CFIS data to cut length of stay in the cardiology department by 14% and average cost per patient by 14%.