Technology Helps Bon Secours Reduce Costs, Track Assets

Dec. 3, 2009

Richmond, Va., November 20, 2009 GE is helping to lower the cost of care delivery at hospitals across the country, including Bon Secours Richmond Health System, which today announced it has seen $5 million in savings over a 5-year period through its Performance Solutions partnership with GE Healthcare, a business unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE).  Bon Secours also announced an expanded collaboration with GE that is projected to produce significant additional savings for the health system over the next three years through an expected increase in the number of patients treated in operating and emergency rooms, a decrease in the length of patient stays and a reduction in unnecessary spending on equipment and supplies.

For more than five years, weve applied process improvements and tracking technologies to help us solve one of the biggest challenges in hospital management: pinpointing where equipment is and when its idle, so we can redistribute these assets to cut costs and reduce wait times, said Peter J. Bernard, CEO, Bon Secours Virginia. “Our aim is to more broadly apply this efficiency model across the health system to deliver better, more cost-effective patient care.”

Central to the five-year cost savings achieved by Bon Secours, a four-hospital, 850-bed health system in Richmond, Virginia, was the facility’s use of GEs AgileTrac Asset Manager. This tool locates equipment in real time, helping hospital staff better manage the use of critical medical equipment. Eighty percent of Bon Secours’ savings to date have resulted from the elimination of unnecessary spending on equipment identified through AgileTrac. For example, the health system now deploys 30 percent fewer intravenous (IV) pumps alone. AgileTrac is a third-party validated solution under GEs healthymagination initiative, dedicated to improving the cost, quality, and access of healthcare. 

Using tools such as AgileTrac, we can help hospitals identify and reallocate un- or misused equipment and physical space to reduce inefficient spending, as well as dramatically improve patient wait times for care,” explained Rob Reilly, General Manager of Americas Service Solutions, GE Healthcare. The ultimate result is a much improved patient experience that costs less.

Through its extended partnership with GE, Bon Secours will employ a broader suite of services and real-time location system (RTLS) tools, such as AgileTrac Enterprise, to help manage workflow at-a-glance for staff, patients, available rooms and equipment in busy areas of the hospital, such as the operating room (OR) and emergency department. For instance, flat screen computers with the RTLS software are now located in the OR to help ensure on-time starts to surgery and reduce wait times. Doctors and nurses can use touch-screen features to notify appropriate personnel when a patient is ready for the next step in surgery. The system automatically notifies staff once a patient enters recovery so preparations for the next surgery can begin immediately. Reducing each procedure by 20 minutes can potentially help Bon Secours expand access to surgical care to more than 1,000 additional patients each year while adding millions in annual revenue to the bottom line.   

 “These real-time location technologies are advancing us to the next level of hospital performance, not just financially, but in care delivery and patient satisfaction as well,” said Kathy Santini, RN, Vice President of Surgical Service, Bon Secours Richmond Health System. “By improving the efficiency of our processes and workflow – especially through the use of new technologies – we can better serve our community, giving more patients access to the important health services we provide.”

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