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PEACEHEALTH CASE STUDY: THE POWER OF GOOD DATA
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PeaceHealth, one of the largest premier healthcare systems on the West Coast with facilities in Alaska, Washington, and Oregon, is known for a healing culture that is patient-centered and family friendly. They strive to measure and improve community health.
Executives at PeaceHealth had spent many years and hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to measure and improve their patients' satisfaction. Unfortunately, despite their best efforts and most sincere intentions, the money spent on surveying patients seemed like a bottomless pit; their patient satisfaction scores stayed flat while their bottom line sagged. They decided to stop banging their heads against the same wall, and sought out better ways to fulfill their goals.
"PeaceHealth has a successful partnership with ARN centered on healthcare data collection that has spanned more than 5 years”, said Jackie Rice of PeaceHealth. This multifaceted partnership covers six PeaceHealth regions in three states. Regardless of project size or scope, PeaceHealth has found the services that ARN offers to be outstanding both in price and product. They have shown a keen ability to rapidly adapt to our changing needs, which has induced a strong relationship that is flexible when necessary. Of particular value to us, is the time and resources ARN has taken to become intricately familiar with our systems and its requirements in order to provide valuable input during all stages of each project. To PeaceHealth, the ARN staff have become more than contracted agents, they are considered part of our team of experts.”
One medical center within the PeaceHealth system stopped using a large, mail survey firm and started using Applied Research Northwest (ARN). The cost of surveying their patients decreased by about 40%, the response rate of patients increased from 20% to over 60%, and the data that were collected could actually be transformed into actionable information. ARN's higher standards of data quality, project management, and interaction with patients produced very powerful, useable information for the executives at the medical center.
Data is only useful if it becomes information. ARN has in-house experts with experience in a wide array of statistical modeling techniques. The medical center was not learning anything useful from the simple percents and summated scores they received from the large, mail survey firm.
ARN has a data analyst that employed a more sophisticated analytical approach called Rasch modeling. This statistical approach does not make the same oft-violated assumptions about data that more traditional approaches make. Instead, Rasch modeling uses probabilities to estimate patients' satisfaction as well as the usefulness of the survey items. The ability to measure the respondents and the survey items simultaneously helps identify 'drivers of improvement' that can be leveraged for maximum impact.
Six months after baseline data were collected by ARN and analyzed by ARN's data analyst the medical center celebrated an amazing improvement in their patient satisfaction scores. Using high-quality data and leveraging very specific and accurate drivers, 12 of 14 patient units in the medical center increased their patient satisfaction scores, with 10 of the 12 improvements being at a level of statistical significance.
Five years later, the medical center is still using ARN, and has added many more projects that require ARN's high-quality, professional, and in-depth services.
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