April 30: Medical Toxicology
As I begin to explore Banner Good Sam and look for compelling stories of how we are unique and why patients should come to 12th and McDowell, I am struck as I learn more about our Department of Medical Toxicology.
Led by a group of six fellowship-trained toxicologists, this group operates one of the busiest inpatient medical toxicology services in the country, admitting and consulting more than 1,000 patients annually. The program also has graduated more than 40 fellows.
However, not only is this a unique Banner Good Samaritan clinical/academic service, it is focused on delivering high value outcomes too. A Banner Good Samaritan Quality Management study recently concluded the following.
- A study was undertaken in which length of stay, cost, and mortality were examined for 3,579 patients discharged from all Banner Health Arizona hospitals in calendar years 2010 and 2011 with MS-DRGs 917 and 918 by three general groups of physicians who primarily cared for these patients:
1. Non-toxicology physicians at hospitals other than Banner Good Samaritan
2. Non-toxicology physicians at Banner Good Samaritan
3. Toxicology physicians at Banner Good Samaritan
- Patients cared for by toxicology physicians at Banner Good Sam experienced statistically significant shorter lengths of stays than other physician groups, and stays were shorter than those expected for the top-performing 16 percent of hospitals nationwide.
- If patients at other hospitals had incurred the same lengths of stay as those cared for by medical toxicologists at Banner Good Sam, a median of 1,371 hospital days would have been saved over two years.
- Patients cared for by physician toxicologists at Banner Good Sam generated significantly lower costs than other physician groups and lower costs than those expected in the top-performing 16 percent of hospitals nationally.
- If patients cared for by physicians at other Banner hospitals had incurred the same costs as those cared for by medical toxicologists at Banner Good Sam, a median of about $3.9 million would have been saved over two years.
- Patients cared for by toxicology physicians at Banner Good Sam experienced statistically significantly lower mortality for MS-DRG 917 than those at other Banner facilities, despite shorter stays and lower costs. The observed mortality was lower than that expected at the top-performing 16 percent of hospitals nationwide.
Banner Good Sam’s toxicology department clearly tells a compelling story of why all these patients should come to 12th and McDowell. Ah, so many possibilities ...
Steve Narang, MD, is the chief executive officer at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center.