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Geisinger Population Health Program Cuts Opioid Use by 18%

The ProvenRecovery program is reducing opioid use, cutting hospital stays, and improving population health for surgery patients.

Geisinger population health program cuts opioid use by 18 percent

Source: Thinkstock

By Jessica Kent

- Geisinger Health System has announced that its ProvenRecovery Program, a population health initiative that aims to reduce opioid use, hospital stays, and healthcare costs, will be implemented across 42 surgical procedures that impact approximately 15,000 surgery cases annually.

Since its pilot began in June 2017, the ProvenRecovery Program has driven an 18 percent decrease in opioid use across the organization, cut hospital stays in half for neurosurgery and colorectal surgery patients, and has accounted for an average savings of $4556 per case for colorectal surgery patients.

ProvenRecovery combines the best practices of Geisinger’s ProvenCare program in cardiac, bariatric, spine, and joint surgical care, as well as industry best practices in optimizing patients for elective surgeries.

“In my 35 years in surgery, this is the innovation with the greatest potential to improve the patient experience, save lives, reduce complications and be less disruptive to patients,” said Neil Martin, MD, Geisinger’s chief quality officer and chair of Geisinger’s neuroscience institute. “With ProvenRecovery, we are empowering patients to be healthier before surgery, leading to fewer surgical complications and patients returning to their lives sooner.”

ProvenRecovery focuses on several key measures to help patients be healthier before and after surgery, including nutrition plans designed to reduce infection and accelerate healing, and early mobility after surgery.

Additionally, the program takes an appropriate pain management approach with patients, so that surgeries are opioid avoiding or opioid free. This technique allows for effective pain control of just one area and uses a combination of non-opioid medications to treat pain, including local anesthesia and ibuprofen.

ProvenRecovery adds to Geisinger’s many initiatives to improve population health and patient outcomes.

In February 2018, the organization reported that its Fresh Food Farmacy program, which provides diabetic adults with access to free, nutritious food, had proven more effective and less costly than other methods of diabetes treatment. The program also offers participants group classes on medication management and healthy eating habits.

Geisinger also recently announced that it would include genomic sequencing in routine clinical care to improve patient outcomes and deliver more personalized care.  

“Understanding the genome warning signals of every patient will be an essential part of wellness planning and health management,” Geisinger CEO and President Dr. David Feinberg said at the time.

“Geisinger patients will be able to work with their family physician to modify their lifestyle and minimize risks that may be revealed. This forecasting will allow us to provide truly anticipatory health care instead of the responsive sick care that has long been the industry default across the nation.”

With the launch of the ProvenRecovery Program, Geisinger expects to advance its efforts to boost population health and lower care costs.

“Since the early 90s, Geisinger has been pioneering patient-centric programs that revolutionize care design and management, paving the way for the industry in the move to value,” said Jaewon Ryu, MD, JD, Geisinger’s interim president and chief executive officer. “ProvenRecovery is a natural evolution of these efforts, building on the successes of our ProvenCare program. By getting patients healthier and out of the hospital sooner, not only are we improving lives, we’re also reducing overall costs of care.”

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