On-line peer networking enables hospitals to share information on cost savings and supportive tools

Bellevue 26 June 2000HBS International Inc. (HBSI), provider of outcomes management systems to the health care industry, has introduced HBSI AOC or ACTION Online Community at the Healthcare Financial Management Association's (HFMA) Annual National Institute 2000 in Orlando, Florida. Since its inception a little more than two months ago, AOC has provided 350 HBSI client partners with a valuable and free new forum for sharing cost-savings information and benefiting from comparative data.

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In today's difficult financial climate, hospitals are seeking cost-saving opportunities throughout their organisations. Popular topics discussed on the AOC include department staffing, supply costs and other bottom-line operational issues which are the building blocks of facility-wide cost reduction. Typical participants are professionals working in hospital quality improvement, finance and operations.

HBSI ACTION users simply log on to the password-protected AOC Web site. The site's polling capability then allows members to post particular questions and receive both individual responses and summaries of all the answers. All on-site postings are searchable by key word. Additionally, HBSI emphasises "netiquette" by posting community golden rules and reviewing all the posts before they are placed on-line. HBSI's site moderator also provides tips and suggestions in the use of HBSI ACTION, based on questions from AOC participants.

"The HBSI ACTION Online Community gives me instant access to a network of peers throughout the nation. It's one of the best things HBSI has ever done", stated Chuck Cochran, senior financial/operations analyst at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, situated near Los Angeles.

"On-line peer networking is an important step in HBSI's ongoing commitment to helping health care organisations learn from each other", commented Gregg Bennett, president and CEO of HBSI. "AOC meshes well with our data-sharing programmes, which enable hospitals to compare clinical, operational and financial data with peer organisations and improve quality and cost-effectiveness of care as a result."

HBSI ACTION provides the largest and most current health care operational database in the industry, allowing health care organisations to compare their costs and productivity to their peers and make informed decisions based on timely, accurate cost information. HBSI ACTION is used by hundreds of health care organisations nationwide to identify potential opportunities for cost savings, monitor performance over time and identify better-performing hospitals for comparison.

HBSI provides outcomes-management systems to more than 900 health care organisations all over the country. HBSI's suite of outcomes management systems enables health care organisations to improve operational efficiency; to increase clinical, financial, and resource performance; to strengthen competitive position; to enhance patient functional status; and to improve patient satisfaction. More details on the HBSI ACTION system are available in the VMW January 2000 article Freshly issued HBSI bi-annual report shows hospital operating margins still declining.


Leslie Versweyveld

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