Chicago-Area Health System Puts Spotlight on Identifying and Managing High Costs

July 22, 2021

// By Jim Samuel //

Hospitals and health systems across the country are constantly looking for ways to identify and manage unnecessary spending — for themselves and for patients. Controlling costs is particularly important when one of your system’s core values is stewardship. That’s why Chicago-based AMITA Health turned to an app that gives providers cost information right in the electronic health record at the point of care.

AMITA Health is one of the largest health systems in Illinois and provides care to nearly 6.6 million residents of Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. The system consists of 15 acute care hospitals, four specialty hospitals, 20 urgent care centers, and outpatient care centers for primary care and many specialties.

Bonny Chen

Bonny Chen, MD, MBA, FACEP, CPHIMS, vice president and chief health information officer, AMITA Health

“At AMITA, one of our core values is stewardship, managing the resources entrusted to us with the utmost care and responsibility,” says Bonny Chen, MD, MBA, FACEP, CPHIMS, vice president and chief health information officer at AMITA Health. Stewardship is so important to AMITA Health that it is one of the system’s four core values, along with excellence, integrity, and creativity.

To help it operate according to its values, AMITA Health installed IllumiCare’s Smart Ribbon in its electronic health records (EHR) system. IllumiCare’s Smart Ribbon Technology provides real-time data within a physician’s workflow and provides that information to leaders and managers through an easy-to-use app called Spotlight.

The IllumiCare system knows the hospital’s cost for every medical, laboratory, or radiology order, as well as which provider submits the order, the provider’s specialty, and the acuity of the patient.

Spotlight lets hospital managers and leaders identify which providers are best at conserving resources and which providers are not as cost-conscious. They can also use Spotlight to show practice patterns among specialists and see if any specialties are driving over-utilization that results in higher costs.

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