Thursday, August 15 | Value-based Care, Partnerships and Collaboration, Post-Acute Care

Q&A With Nathan Adelson Hospice CFO, Jon Wood

By Netsmart

Since being named CFO of Nathan Adelson Hospice – Nevada’s only non-profit hospice and palliative organization – in 2015, Jon Wood has spent a lot of time fostering relationships with healthcare organizations, payers and advocacy groups to remain competitive during a time of tremendous change in the industry. 
By creating key performance indicators, dashboards and strategic planning processes, Jon and his team helped the organization experience a 10% margin improvement.
“One of our biggest goals is to continuously improve the organization not only for the staff but for the patient and family experience, too,” Jon said. “Another focus of ours is working to understand the business climate we operate in and strategically plan for the evolution of post-acute care.” 
Your org received a 96% employee engagement score on Modern Healthcare’s ‘Best Places to Work’ survey and has won the ‘Best Place to Work’ award for 8 straight years. Why do you think that is? 
I think it really comes down to our employee-centered culture. We constantly strive to give our employees what they need to provide excellent service to our patients and their families.  
Even for an organization of our size and with the heavy competition around us (Nevada has around 50 for-profit hospices and numerous health systems, post-acute providers and physician groups), we invest in competitive pay, benefits, education, technology and training for our employees. It’s a significant investment we feel is important to both our employees and ultimately the patients and families we serve. 
We have a strong standing in community; we’ve been here for 41 years and really strive to develop strong partnerships. The community supports us investing in our employees because of the meaningful work they do, so a lot of donations come in to train and educate our staff. 
Patient-centered care is at the heart of hospice care. What is essential to delivering that kind of care?   
Delivering patient and family-centered care is about keeping the four “pillars” of our organization under one mindset – a mindset of continuous improvement. Organization goals, patient goals, family goals and employee goals all need to work in tandem. 
Certainly, quality is number one, but there is also an aspect of service, employee engagement and fiscal responsibility. If care is sustainable then it’s available. We have to ensure the care we provide is sustainable if we want it to be available for the patients and families we serve.
Nathan Adelson achieved a 10% margin improvement through some of its initiatives. How has data analysis and key performance indicators helped your organization improve its margins? 
We’ve been using data analytics to capture how many visits are clinicians making, how long are the visits, and if there are any large variations between what certain clinicians are doing, among other things. With this information we can identify opportunities for training, change our processes and build more efficiencies into workflows. 
We also use data for supply chain management information; we pull data from our medical supply, pharmacy, DME vendors and then see if we have any outliers on ordering practices. This allows us to see if we are spending money on items that aren’t formulary, improving those ordering practices and changing to products which maintain quality, but at a lower cost.
Most importantly, we use data points to see if we are accomplishing what we think we are accomplishing. Are we getting the quantitative-based outcomes that align with anecdotal information? Data is crucial not only in how we see ourselves as an organization but also how our partners and the community view us. 
In what ways do you see technology supporting hospice efforts in the next few years? 
With the movement towards population health, capturing patient information and having the ability to access and analyze that information will be critical to hospice organizations. Pressures on reimbursement and increasing costs will force hospices to get better at understanding end-of-life care and what happens to patients before they make it to hospice. 
As I mentioned before, technology will enable hospices to better understand operations, balancing patient outcomes with effective and efficient workflows.
How has technology helped staff satisfaction? 
Effective technology makes an employee more productive, which helps facilitate quality care. 
In my past, I’ve seen what happens when ineffective technology inhibits the clinician’s ability to care for their patient, creating a virtual tug of war. This then resulted in frustration and wasted time they’d otherwise prefer to give to their patients.  
When staff can easily navigate through the electronic record they gain more time to provide care, become more productive and more engaged in the meaningful work they signed up for. 
About Nathan Adelson Hospice
Nathan Adelson Hospice, the trusted partner in hospice care and palliative medicine for over 40 years, is the oldest, largest and only non-profit hospice in Southern Nevada, caring for over 400 hospice and 500 palliative care patients daily. In 1978, Nathan Adelson Hospice began providing home care hospice service in Southern Nevada with the mission to offer patients and their loved ones comprehensive end-of-life care and influence better care for all in the community.  In 1983, Nathan Adelson Hospice opened an inpatient hospice in Las Vegas, and today the hospice is recognized as a national model for superior hospice care. Its vision is simple: no one should end the journey of life alone, afraid or in pain. 




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