IU Health responds to growing volume in 2017 with strategic growth, improved systems of care
—INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana University Health advanced its strategic growth plan in 2017, as patient demand rose across the health system in the face of continued pressures on healthcare providers.
“IU Health made substantial progress on its operational and cultural goals in 2017, even as we engaged a broader cross-section of the community through care, education and service,” said Dennis Murphy, president and chief executive officer. “As the healthcare environment becomes more complex, IU Health strives to personalize care to truly change health outcomes for the better, one life at a time, through the hard work of an extraordinarily talented team.”
Pursuing strategic growth and improved quality
IU Health saw more than 10 million interactions with patients, their families and the larger community in 2017, offering more specialized patient care and a growing number of virtual online encounters. Patient admissions, hospital room occupancies and surgical cases all grew in 2017 over the previous year.
To serve its growing patient population and communities, IU Health continued to improve systems of care through capital investments across its 15-hospital system. Projects included expanding primary care offerings with over 2,000 physicians and advanced practitioners statewide, opening two new urgent care centers, adding locations within the 2-year-old Riley Children’s Health network, and opening four clinics featuring precision genomics technology for adult and pediatric patients with late-stage cancer.
Investments in quality continued to pay off in 2017, as hospital infections systemwide dropped by over 20 percent from 2016, hitting all-time lows during the year, while patient safety events also fell substantially. Patients were given access to alternative care paths through new telehealth options and online appointments that won wide consumer support. More than 8,000 pre-operative wellness kits were distributed to elective surgery patients under an innovative program that has significantly improved surgical outcomes.
“IU Health continued to create a stronger culture around quality of patient care through more-focused care metrics, engaging frontline personnel, and finding new ways to stress workplace accountability and transparency,” said Dr. Jonathan Gottlieb, executive vice president and chief medical officer. “Our efforts have brought a renewed sense of calling and passion among caregivers. Even so, we know we can never be satisfied with current results of moving the dial favorably on quality and patient care.”
In its unique partnership with Indiana University School of Medicine, IU Health made notable gains in 2017 to further its nonprofit mission of providing clinical care, research and education as Indiana’s largest and most comprehensive healthcare provider:
- IU Health expanded its care opportunities and other encounters with patients, their families and the community, registering more than 450,000 ED visits, 600,000 inpatient days, 2.6 million outpatient visits, and more than 6 million user sessions on its websites.
- Progress continued on a strategic growth plan to focus services and expansion in the core geographic footprint served by IU Health’s hospitals and build partnerships throughout the state. Frankfort Hospital was integrated into the system in May 2017 and IU Health agreed to bring Jay County Hospital on board in March 2018. IU Health announced plans to expand and
- develop new partnerships in the Fort Wayne market, beginning with a Riley Children’s Health specialty clinic and a primary care office in 2018.
- Major capital projects were greenlighted that will keep IU Health’s facilities on the forefront of delivering truly innovative care. They included plans to integrate maternity and neonatal services at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health, a move that will consolidate maternity services within the academic medical center by 2020; build a replacement Bloomington Hospital, with groundbreaking in early 2018; and add 48 beds and new operating room and cath lab capacity at West Hospital. Detailed planning also continued for a consolidated adult academic health center in downtown Indianapolis with full completion in 2026.
- IU Health invested further in leading-edge, first-in-Indiana technologies to enhance patient care, including the debut of a “heart-in-a-box” system to store beating donor hearts during heart transplants; installation of a combined PET/MRI scanner to more precisely detect and treat cancerous tumors; and expanded precision genomic programs to fight or cure late-stage cancers in adults and children by analyzing their sequenced whole genomes.
- Approximately $583 million in community benefit – the highest among healthcare providers in the state – was reported last year for 2016, featuring financial assistance to patients, education for health professionals, clinical research, and outreach initiatives that improve community health.
- IU Health announced partnerships with Indianapolis Children’s Museum in creating the Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience and with Indiana University on a five-year initiative to fight the opioid addiction crisis.
“As healthcare complexities increase, concerted efforts were undertaken in 2017 to reduce any obstacles to providing the personalized care that our patients expect,” said Murphy, who became CEO in 2016. Murphy conducted his first-ever listening tour in 2017 of 14 IU Health hospitals and 19 outpatient facilities and support service sites, talking to thousands of team members. “Our efforts have aimed to help team members make the most of their talents and skills and contribute to an enterprise of care that makes a true difference in the lives of Hoosiers.”
Financial outcomes: Revenues increase, operating expenses flat
Financial highlights for IU Health’s 15-hospital system, which also includes surgery and urgent care centers, three regional physician networks and a health insurance company:
- Operating revenue grew to $6.29 billion from $6.23 billion in 2016, with patient volume increasing in most categories over the previous year.
- Operating expenses of $5.69 billion stayed essentially flat compared to 2016.
- Earnings from operations rose 6.4 percent to $583 million. Investment gains due to healthy equity markets helped push total earnings to $989 million, a significant increase over 2016 earnings that were reduced by hospital divestiture adjustments. IU Health maintained an AA bond rating that reflects its strong financial position.
A not-for-profit hospital system created in 1997 with hospital roots reaching to the early 1900s, IU Health has a unique role in Indiana supporting a wide range of programs beyond clinical care. They include support for IU School of Medicine; chaplaincy programs that aid patients’ spiritual and other needs; neighborhood revitalization; school-based health education programs; and education for independent health providers.
IU Health was named the top hospital system in Indiana and included among the nation’s top hospitals for the 20th consecutive year in the 2017-2018 ‘Best Hospitals’ rankings by U.S. News & World Report. IU Health is among an elite group of hospitals with Magnet designation for excellence in nursing services and clinical outcomes.