South Florida Hospital News
Wednesday April 14, 2021

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February 2009 - Volume 5 - Issue 8

Information Technology: Instant Results about Miami Dade County Hospitals

I have a friend that is a Fortune 500 company vice president. One of his responsibilities is to generate executive sales reports. The company purchased a million dollar accounting package that according to him is "difficult to use". To get the report he wants, he has to download data, then import it into Microsoft Access, then, find someone who knows this program well enough to produce the report. Sound familiar? Going through all these gyrations not only uses resources but increases the chance for mistakes. In addition, the actual decision makers only see a one dimensional hard-copy report. They may have a multitude of questions about the data that comprises this report.

This is where the "rubber meets the road". Healthcare software products must be able to provide invaluable information in a format that even novice computer users can quickly learn. Being able to provide fast information to healthcare decision-making executives, in an easy-to-use format, is what separates information technology products. Imagine sitting at your desk, and accessing all Florida Inpatient, Outpatient Surgery, and Emergency Room on the web. With one click of a button, you can see a screen showing discharges, length of stay, and charge information for hospitals, payers, physicians, geography, and time frames. From this one screen, you can drill down into further details until you find the reason behind the original issue or pattern.

There is a web based software system that will do all of this for you. The software is named Explore hc (the hc stands for healthcare). Explore hc is unique because it is designed for you to interact by clicking on columns to sort, drilling down into details, and quickly changing data views (for instance Hospital to Payer). All of this can be done from one screen so even a computer novice can manipulate millions of records intently.

The information that can be generated is invaluable and can be used as decision support for numerous projects, policy, and management. In about three minute’s time, we were able to find out the following statistics (remember we are only scratching the surface):

  • In 2007, the top two reasons for inpatients utilizing hospitals in Miami Dade County were (1) Normal Newborn (14,550) with an average charge of $2,766 and (2) Psychoses (13,090) with an average charge of $15,430.
  • In 2007, 62% of all Miami-Dade County patients roughly (210,000) were admitted through the Emergency Room. Of those 210,000 patient admissions, 92,000 (48%) were 65 and over. It should not surprise anyone that 87% of these 92,000 patients were charged to Medicare to the tune of roughly 4 billion dollars. What was the number one reason for going to the emergency department for patients over the age of 65? Almost 7% of the time it was for Heart Failure and Shock.
  • If we review 2007 data on patients utilizing Miami-Dade hospital emergency rooms, you will see that 9% (about 12,000 patients) of the time, patients are diagnosed as having acute upper respiratory infection. What is even more interesting is that nearly 8% of the time (close to 11,000); patients utilize expensive emergency room resources for a headache.
  • Roughly 62% of the time in Miami-Dade County, Medicare or Medicaid is the primary payer for an inpatient in 2007.
Awareness is the key to solving issues and it is no different in the healthcare world. Once you are aware of changes or patterns, you can begin to implement a solution. What Explore hc does, is make it easy for you to see these changes and the underlying causes with just a couple of clicks. Healthcare Information Technology has never been easier.
Bill Sampsel is President and Founder of HealthScope, Inc. For more information, visit or call 1-800-523-8734.
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