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Community Hospital South

  • Location: Indianapolis, IN
  • Award: Evidence-Based Leadership Healthcare Organization of the Month
  • Awarded: August 2014

Community Hospital South is a part of Indianapolis-based Community Health Network, which operates more than 200 sites of care, including 10 acute-care and specialty-care hospitals. Community South anchors the organization’s South region, serving patients in the southern portion of Indianapolis and neighboring counties.

The hospital opened in 1963 and was formerly known as University Heights Hospital. It joined Community Health Network in 1989 and was renamed Community Hospital South. In 1993, the hospital added a new top floor and began offering maternity services for the first time.

In 2010, Community South completed a $130 million expansion that added more than 194,000 square feet to the existing hospital facility for a total of almost 406,000 square feet. The project included a new patient tower, a state-of-the-art ortho/neuro/spine unit, renovated labor/delivery/recovery/postpartum suites, a new special care nursery, surgical suites with the latest technology and “green” materials throughout. Before the expansion, the hospital operated 100 beds. With all five floors of the patient tower open, the bed count is now 175.

Community Cancer Center South, a free-standing cancer center on the campus of Community South, opened for patients in April 2014, offering a comprehensive and integrated approach to cancer care and treatment. The 65,000-square-foot facility brings together all elements of cancer care in a healing environment, including physician offices, radiation and medical oncology services, a specialized oncology pharmacy, a dedicated lab and the FigLeaf Boutique, which focuses on specialty cancer items.

The Community Way
Community Health Network launched The Community Way in 2012. It’s a far-reaching effort that is spreading new leadership skills, management systems and process improvement concepts throughout the organization. Community is implementing evidence-based ideas for building a high-performing culture and transforming from good to great. Studer Group is a partner in the adoption of The Community Way.

Serving as a centerpiece of The Community Way are the organization’s six pillars and the goals associated with each. Through The Community Way, the network has aligned leadership goals and embarked on quarterly Leadership Development Institute gatherings of nearly 1,000 leaders from across the organization. Community Health Network, including Community South, has developed and hardwired a wide range of best practices, including:

  • Rounding on team members
  • Nurse leader rounding by assignment
  • Senior leader rounding
  • Hourly rounding on patients and families
  • Bedside shift report
  • AIDET communication tactics
  • Patient communication whiteboards
  • Department communication pillar boards
  • Organization-wide standards of behavior
  • Periodic mandatory town hall meetings for Community South team members
  • Peer interviewing and selection
  • Post-discharge clinical calls

The Results
Adoption of these and other evidence-based practices have resulted in impressive outcomes at Community South. Here are just a few examples:

  • Employee engagement: The 2013 goal was 78%. Community South achieved 80%.
  • HCAHPS scores: Community South’s overall HCAHPS performance has indicated significant improvement in patients’ perception of the care they have received.
  • Left without being seen: In the Community South emergency department, the statistics for patients who left without being seen decreased from 4.77% in 2011, to 1.61% in 2012, 0.23% in 2013, and 0.21% in 2014 year-to-date.
  • Door-to-provider time: The Community South emergency department reduced average door-to-provider times from 34 minutes in 2011, to 27.6 minutes in 2012, to 16.5 minutes in 2013.
  • Time in the emergency department: At the Community South emergency department, the median time between decision to admit and departure from the emergency department declined from 113.4 minutes in 2012, to 87.1 minutes in 2013, to 64.4 minutes in 2014 year-to-date.
  • Emergency department volume: Patient volume in the Community South emergency department grew by 8 percent between 2012 and 2013. So far in 2014 volume is roughly even with 2013 (volumes were lower in January and February 2014 due to the harsh winter).
  • Cancer center volume: Since the new Community Cancer Center South opened earlier this year, volume of cancer center business has quadrupled.
  • All-cause readmissions: The rate at Community South dropped from 10.56% in 2013 to 9.18% in the first quarter of 2014.
  • Falls: The total number of patient falls in 2012 was down 4% compared with 2011. Falls with injury declined 12%.
  • Operating margin: Community South’s operating margin was $28.4 million in fiscal year 2012, $39.5 million in fiscal year 2013, and $30.2 million through the first six months of 2014.
  • Births at Community South: Total deliveries were 757 in 2010, 1,055 in 2011, 1,322 in 2012, and 1,478 in 2013.
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