United Lincolnshire increase income through costing analysis
Automated processes and new level of detail lead this Trust to better outcomes
United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust is one of the largest trusts in the country. They provide a comprehensive range of hospital-based medical, surgical, paediatric, obstetric and gynaecological services to the people of Lincolnshire and beyond, through 3 main hospitals and 90 other locations.
With a turnover of more than £400m each year, they invest millions in improving clinical services by replacing and upgrading medical equipment, modernising facilities and improving the IT infrastructure.
To ensure maximum benefits from these investments, costing is a business critical issue.
We spoke to Assistant Finance Manager, Robin Solly at United Lincolnshire on how their use of CACI’s flagship solution Synergy 4 is helping them reach their goals.
For the United Lincolnshire Hospital Trust, costing had always been an exercise undertaken purely for the purpose of the national cost collection. For the teams involved, the manual process of extracting the data and getting the required outputs was extremely difficult, meaning the data was rarely used for operational or strategic purposes.
A new push for change came as the mandated costing requirements for acute trusts changed and CACI was appointed to deliver a solution that would enable all of these improvements.
Once CACI had identified Synergy 4 as the best solution, a nine-month implementation phase began.
Robin Solly from United Lincolnshire’s finance team commented on the approach that was taken to ensure the solution was built with the trust in mind:
“Our implementation phase had superb on-site support from a CACI consultant, who spent considerable time in understanding our organisation so that the construct of our costing model reflected the way in which the Trust’s activity is delivered.” Robin Solly, United Lincolnshire
Ease of use for the costing practitioner was an important aspect to ensure the Trust could get maximum benefit in an efficient way. Synergy was implemented for the trust to be able to automate processes that had previously been manual, time consuming exercises, which in turn removed a significant amount of time from the costing process.
Outcomes for United Lincolnshire
Since the implementation of Synergy 4, the trust has been able to produce quarterly PLICS reporting. A summarised model of income against expenditure, by specialty and point-of-delivery has been made available to clinical service managers and patient level outputs available to local finance teams.
Robin explained that the ability to drill down into the detail help support the key insights revealed at the summary level.
“PLICS data is now a key analysis tool used in our acute service review process with a number of specialties specifically requesting detailed patient level financial analysis to understand which clinical activities are generating a positive / negative contribution margin and why.” Robin Solly, United Lincolnshire
Robin went on to recount a recent example of a department seeing direct benefits from this solution:
“There was the specialty who, as a result of our patient level analysis, realised that a whole strata of their activity was not being charged to our commissioners due to an administration error that precluded its inclusion in our SLAM reports. Without PLICS, this would not have happened and has resulted in substantial additional income for the Trust.” Robin Solly, United Lincolnshire
Empowered with detailed insights, the United Lincolnshire Hospital trust continue to work with CACI on how they can take further steps to generate more insight from their data and improve outcomes across the trust.