“So, what kind of work do you do?” Found on page one of the Barber, Cab Driver, and Nervous Airline Seatmate Chit-Chat Handbook, it’s a question that gets asked and answered often. I happen to be one of the lucky ones who enjoys his job, so I tend to answer with more enthusiasm than the Uber-driving barber seated in 11B is typically expecting. A response of “I work in healthcare”, while not incorrect, isn’t exactly a complete response. For me, fully answering the often-asked question requires talking through the what, the who, and the why of IPS. So…what does IPS do?
“There are real layers to people here: smart, driven people from diverse backgrounds solving problems. Our work environment is purposefully collaborative, so any single person working with a client leverages the experience of an entire company.” – Michael Edwards, Director Operations & Software
There are plenty of ways in which we could describe the work that we do but, at the heart of it, we are healthcare problem solvers. Over the past quarter-century, IPS has been using (and improving) its toolkit of data analytics, systems-driven process improvement, and software development to tackle problems in both the public and private sectors of healthcare. Need to implement a new inventory management system on your inpatient units? Great—we have experience with par level optimization, reorder point, and inventory management best practices. Want better insight into tracking your healthcare-associated infections? We will help you use your EHR data to provide decision support and automate NHSN reporting. Looking to increase throughput for your OR? We’ll analyze your patient flow, white-space, and block time to identify areas of improvement. We solve healthcare problems in innovative ways that have a large impact on organizations, by saving them time and money, and pushing them towards higher quality delivery of healthcare.
IPS’ Drug Waste Mitigation and Reduction (DWMR) Service is an excellent example of how we improve healthcare delivery on a level that is often overlooked: cost reduction in the inpatient pharmacy. DWMR uses data science and analytic modeling to identify inpatient pharmacy drug waste and eliminate avoidable sources of it. Additionally, this service reduces costs by eliminating wasted medication thereby decreasing both overall pharmacy spend and the extra workload of preparing unneeded doses. Overall, DMWR results in improved patient safety and satisfaction by ensuring delivery of the right medication at the right time, as well as increased employee satisfaction by decreasing workload and increasing transparency.
“We always work to understand the data and map processes to that data, rather than make our own assumptions. We’ll never just come in and say that we know your data better than you.” – Vanessa Harms, Senior Analyst
While what we do is interesting, it’s how we do it is what sets us apart. There are loads of similar firms who will describe similar work with different combinations of similar consultant-speak and buzzwords. The big-box consulting firms offer prescriptive, one-size-fits-all solutions that often don’t get to the root of a problem. At IPS, shoehorning imperfect solutions isn’t quite our style because we know that each organization, and the issue they’re solving, is unique. While the process to identify solutions can be standardized, the solutions to complex problems most often cannot. Choosing IPS means choosing a solution rooted in industry best practices, but custom-tailored to your organization—and guaranteed to last.
“It’s every part of the organization. It’s not just our consultants who are on site; it’s the developers, it’s the analysts behind the scenes, it’s the CEO, it’s our management. Everyone at IPS has that.” – Mayce Varacalli, IPS Software Developer
The above helps explain what makes us any good and like all closely guarded recipes, there is a secret ingredient that makes us great: our values. From top to bottom, we are all united around this shared set of values that are omnipresent at IPS: interview questions for new hire candidates, frequent points of focus for internal meetings, and guiding principles which frame our client experience. From top to bottom, each one of us genuinely cares to make a positive difference in anything we do. We want patient experiences to be better, we want healthcare dollars to go further, we want to help eliminate waste, and, above all else, we want to help.
About the Authors
Jeff Giordano has been with IPS as a healthcare consultant since 2016 working in public and private-sector healthcare. Since joining the IPS team, his project work has focused on healthcare-associated infections, perinatal harms, and main OR process improvement. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Michigan and has 8 years of experience in the healthcare industry. Prior to joining the IPS team, Jeff worked in healthcare information technology.
Lauren Wolf has been with IPS as a healthcare analyst since 2014, with experience working on projects in both ancillary and main hospital services, including Lab, Radiology, Main OR, and Infection Control. Using tools such as SQL and R, and abilities gained from her Management Information Systems degree, she has produced compelling, informative, and actionable data analysis and visual aids. Prior to joining IPS, she worked in the health insurance and manufacturing sectors.