Providence St. Joseph Health leveraged data to reduce its knee replacement costs by more than $1 million a year.
The Renton, Wash.-based integrated health system first analyzed what drove variation across its 51-hospital network and targeted the use of antibiotic-infused bone cement. Hypothetically, it can stave off infections.
But the pre-mixed product added significant cost without substantial evidence that it was effective. Looking at a two-year dataset of about 20,000 knee replacements performed at Providence St. Joseph, there wasn’t a distinct difference in the quality data for patients who received the antibiotic-infused cement and the cement without it.
That required combining two disparate data sets in cost and quality metrics and delivering it in a way that resonated with physicians. A seasoned team of data experts had to filter knee replacement costs through patient cohorts rather than by department or facility. It had to expand beyond the traditional treatment codes to account for patient acuity.