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Healthcare Innovation. Robert Monte, VAPHS VERC Director September 2013 University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy. Presentation Outline. The Healthcare Dilemma VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System Overview VAPHS VERC and OSR Overview Game Based Learning. The Healthcare Problem.

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healthcare innovation

Healthcare Innovation

Robert Monte, VAPHS VERC Director

September 2013

University of Pittsburgh

School of Pharmacy

presentation outline
Presentation Outline
  • The Healthcare Dilemma
  • VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System Overview
  • VAPHS VERC and OSR Overview
  • Game Based Learning

The Healthcare Problem

Maternity Unit


Emergency Room Canada

Clinic Capetown South Africa

Clinic Waiting Area Sydney Australia

UCLA Emergency Room

the healthcare problem cost of poor quality
The Healthcare Problem: Cost of Poor Quality
  • Broken health care processes and system failures result in the deaths of more than 98,000 Americans and injuries to more than 1 million patients every year (IOM, 2000)
  • 75 % of patients describe the health care system as fragmented and fractured (Picker Institute, 2000).
  • Health care costs have been rising at double-digit rates since the late 1990s
the healthcare problem
The Healthcare Problem
  • Estimated $.30 to $.40 of every dollar spent on health care, more than half a trillion dollars per year, is spent on costs associated with “overuse, underuse, misuse, duplication, system failures, unnecessary repetition, poor communication, and inefficiency.”
  • 43 million, more than one-sixth of the U.S. population under the age of 65 have no health insurance (IOM, 2004a).
  • Uninsured receive little preventive care and tend to require a disproportionate share of costly chronic and acute care.
vaphs verc


va pittsburgh healthcare system
VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System
  • 60, 141 total uniques
  • 583 operating beds
  • 538,436 outpatient visits
  • 43 liver & 40 kidney transplants
  • 171,985 bed days of care
  • Budget > $450 million
  • 3011.2 full time equivalent employees
  • 1,152 total volunteers
  • Research > $20 million
  • 5 contract community-based outpatient clinics
  • MCCF Collections >$21.3 million
vaphs ud hospital processes
VAPHS – UD Hospital Processes


4 major hospital work streams
4 Major Hospital Work Streams
  • Enrollment Process
  • Inpatient Process
  • Discharge Process
  • Outpatient Process



VERC – Program Offices

Heather Woodward-Hagg


Peter Woodbridge

MWM VERC Director

Janis Hersh

New England VERC Director

Robert Monte


organizational structure verc and osr
Organizational Structure VERC and OSR
  • Staffing
  • 10 Full Time VA Staff
  • 5 Fellows
  • 25 Part time Contract Staff
building blocks
Building Blocks





academic partners
Academic Partners
  • Partnerships with the academic community greatly expand our level of knowledge and expertise
  • Continue to grow our academic affiliations and leverage the expertise of these partnerships to foster innovative healthcare solutions in VHA and new funding streams
awards and recognition
Awards and Recognition

FY 08

Inpatient Flow Team

Systems Redesign Champion Award North-Eastern Inpatient Flow (FIX)

FY 09

Dermatology Clinic

Systems Redesign Champion Award Team Outpatient Clinical Care Systems Redesign

FY 10

Lung Cancer Team

-Federal Executive Board (FEB)

Chairman’s Gold Award1st Place

-Hospital and Health System Association of PA

-National Systems Redesign Award

1st Place Outpatient Clinical Care

Outstanding Supervisor/Manager Gold Award

Robert Monte

Rookie of The Year Silver Award

Adam Critchlow

FY 11

TeleDermatology Program

FEB Clinical Team Chairman's Gold Award 1st Place

VISN 4 Lung Cancer Collaborative

FEB Outstanding Team Silver Award

FY 12

Purdue University Lean Healthcare Black Belt Certification

Adam Critchlow

  • Physical Therapy Missed Opportunities Reduction Team
  • FEB Chairman’s Bronze Award
  • Total Parenteral Nutrition Improvement Team
  • FEB Chairman's Bronze Award
game based learning
Game Based Learning

The concept of developing a game to teach principles to improve access was suggested by Flo Hutchinson, Chief of Staff, Charleston VA Medical Center and Ro Hurley, Associate Director Systems Redesign, VA Central Office in June 2011. The VAPHS VERC & OSR was very interested in the concept and began work on a prototype in July 2011. The game objective is to implement Access Strategies to reduce waiting times for an appointment while keeping a balance of at least $5 .

telemedicine solution aphasia treatment
Telemedicine Solution: Aphasia Treatment

Aphasia is a language disorder resulting from brain damage that impairs communication.

The Program for Intensive Residential Aphasia Treatment and Education (PIRATE) provides treatment to Veterans with aphasia.

The PIRATE program requires patients to travel to VA Pittsburgh and be housed in residential living facilities to receive this intensive face to face therapy.

The prototype was built using a smart phone and i-pad.

access and missed opportunities data tool
  Access and Missed Opportunities Data Tool
  • Data related to Advanced Clinic Access (ACA) measures are located in many different places on the VHA Support Service Center (VSSC) website.
  • To address this need, we created an Excel tool that creates a report using Pivot Tables to provide this information for the clinics at the stop code level.
ftee resource assessment and staffing tool
  FTEE Resource Assessment and Staffing Tool
  • VERC worked with the Tampa VA Medical Center from November 2010 to January 2011 to help them develop staffing tools to align personnel resources with workload.
  • The tools enabled departments to calculate their workload, task time, and required FTEE while allowing for leave, breaks, and administrative time.
wilmington vamc operating room simulation model
Wilmington VAMC Operating Room Simulation Model

The goals and objectives of the project were to develop a current state simulation model of the Wilmington VA Medical Center’s four existing Operating Rooms and the new Endovascular Suite that would accurately model the workload, procedure durations, probability distributions for the process flow, and resource utilization.

The model was used to test variable scenarios to optimize OR utilization and minimize late cases, overtime usage, and procedure backlogs.

transplant mapping
Transplant Mapping
  • The first communication until the decision to develop a referral packet is variable and needs to be supported more formally.
  • The Transplant Referral Dialog template is a good tool that needs more resources applied on the referring side to fully optimize its use.
  • Communication needs to be improved between transplant teams and transplant teams and NSO.
national initiate to reduce missed opportunity nirmo
National Initiate to Reduce Missed Opportunity (NIRMO)
  • Deliverables
    • Reduction of the National MO rate to 10% or less in the Top 50 Clinics
    • National Voice of the Customer Questionnaire, Analysis, and Report
    • National Implementation of Strategies Questionnaire, Analysis and Report
    • Predictive Model to identify probability of a no-show and target patients for reminder calls
    • Missed Opportunities Toolkit
    • Incentive Programs to reduce MO
    • Clinic Simulation to Test Impact of Access Strategies on MO
    • NIRMO National Virtual Collaborative
    • NIRMO VISN Collaboratives
    • NIRMO Facility RPIWs
national initiate to reduce missed opportunity nirmo1
National Initiate to Reduce Missed Opportunity (NIRMO)
  • Milestones by Fiscal Year
    • FY2010
      • Charter and approval August 2010
      • Initial planning for the Voice of the Customer and Reminder Call pilot
    • FY2011
      • NIRMO Kicked off
      • National Voice of the Customer developed (January) Implementation of Strategies developed (February) Development of No Show predictor models by:
        • University of Pittsburgh Katz School of Business
        • Wayne State University
    • FY2012
      • Virtual Collaborative started spreading strategies and best practices
      • Completed 6 face-to-face VISN Collaboratives and 15 Rapid Process Improvement Workshops (RPIWs) Timeline
    • FY2013
      • Virtual Collaboratives
      • NIRMO Training Modules
      • Site Visits
      • Toolkit development and deployment
nirmo predictive model
NIRMO Predictive Model
  • Pitt built five separate models built using logistic regressions that are specific to the type of care
  • The model was used to identify patients for targeted reminder calls
  • The pilots reduced MO rates by 50%
  • VAPHS VERC can send reports to VA Facility shared drives on request
  • Finalizing VSSC report template to all VA Facilities to retrieve their own list
nirmo toolkit
NIRMO Toolkit
  • The National Missed Opportunities Toolkit is a SharePoint site devoted to training and education about Missed Opportunities
  • The purpose of the toolkit
    • Provide ongoing in depth support for MO reduction efforts
    • Enable teams to spread techniques and expertise nationally
    • Provide a training reference
    • Provide interactive tools and reference documents
    • Be your MO project one stop shop
  • VA TAMMCS and Tool Based schemes
operating room scheduling
Operating Room Scheduling
  • Goals and Objectives
    • Develop an analytical modeling framework for the OR suite
    • Use several years of real and de-deintifed data from actual surgical procedures at an existing OR suite in order to calibrate the model accurately
    • Develop a decision support system based on the calibrated model that could be easily maintained and have its underlying data dynamically updated
    • Develop a suitable software interface within which the system would reside
error proofing reprocessing of reusable medical equipment rme
Error Proofing Reprocessing ofReusable Medical Equipment (RME)
  • The goals of this effort are to understand the endoscope cleaning process, evaluate factors that influence endoscope cleaning, and make recommendations to improve the endoscope cleaning process
  • Project generated national recommendation for the use of AERs
develop specialty pact care models
Develop Specialty Pact Care Models
  • Background: Current relationship between specialists and existing primary care PACT teams is not well understood
  • Project Goal
    • Develop, implement and analyze a three tiered approach using e-consults, same day access, and traditional face to face visits to provide specialist services to an existing Primary Care PACT
    • Increase access to specialists, while reducing long travel distances for Veterans
  • Methods: Voice of Customer and Process, Three Tier Pilot, Geospatial Modeling to guide decisions for best allocation of specialist resources to high impact clinical areas in order to significantly reduce Veteran travel times and distances
  • Accomplishments: VOC and VOP 75% complete, pilots established, preliminary Geospatial models
  • Future Directions: Analyze pilots, improve process, disseminate to VHA
improving the investigation review board process vaphs pilot
Improving the Investigation Review Board Process (VAPHS Pilot)
  • Background: Data demonstrate substantial variation in IRB review quality and efficiency, and this variation is likely due to inconsistent and inefficient application of relevant regulations
  • Project Goal: Improve the variation in the efficiency and effectiveness of IRB review processes at VAPHS
  • Methods: VERC utilized VA-TAMMCS and Systems Engineering to develop process flow maps, simulation model, process re-engineering. CHERP conducting quality reviews, data collection and analysis, and developing change package
  • Accomplishments
    • Data entry program to capture and analyze the information
    • A codebook to guide coders in extracting data IRB records
    • Simulation model to test improvement scenarios
  • Future Directions
    • HSRD grant awarded and work began April 2012
education programs
Education Programs
  • Advanced Systems Engineering Fellowship
  • University of Pittsburgh Industrial Engineering Senior Projects
  • Graduate School of Public Health Students
  • Katz Graduate School of Business Senior Project
  • Health Systems Engineering (HSE) Course
  • Healthcare Innovations Pitt Pharmacy
  • Provide facility and VISN Level Trainings
    • Systems Redesign Project Training (Lean Yellow Belt)
    • Systems and Process Improvement (SPI) Workshops
    • Improving Our Work is Our Work : All employee introduction to TAMMCS/Lean
    • Courses – Pitt Engineering, Business, Pharmacy
fellowship and graduate research program
Fellowship and Graduate Research Program
  • The OAA Health Systems Engineering Fellowship program provides a strong and extended exposure to the application of systems engineering principles in the health care environment
  • The Graduate Research Program is sponsored with an academic affiliate to provide an experience in health systems engineering research

Jahan Taheri

Elizabeth May

Brittany Green

John Bennett

Lanxi Tang

thank you
Thank you