Spire healthcare

A success story from Common Managment Solutions

Award-winning private healthcare

Winner of several independent healthcare awards, Spire is a leading provider of private healthcare, with 38 hospitals throughout the UK. The company is built on a proud heritage of over 25 years’ experience of running successful private hospitals. The company employs over 7,600 people nationwide, works with over 3,000 of the country’s most experienced consultant surgeons and specialists, and treats over 930,000 patients per year.

Spire Healthcare is committed to the highest quality of patient care and has earned a reputation as a leader in its field. Spire’s 2013 patient survey showed 92% of patients rated the quality of service at their Spire hospital as ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’. This confirms Spire’s place as one of the UK’s most favoured providers of hospital treatment. It was the first private hospital provider to publish clinical performance and patient reported outcomes together on its website, and has won several independent healthcare awards for its clinical quality, financial performance and leadership, and its environmental policy.

A world class healthcare business

Spire Healthcare’s vision is to be recognised as a world class healthcare business. Its mission is to bring together the best people who are dedicated to developing excellent clinical environments and delivering the highest quality patient care. To achieve this, Spire constantly invests in its people, facilities and equipment. An investment was needed to
replace its aging business management systems.

Although the immediate business driver for replacing its 20 year-old legacy system was the imminent withdrawal of support by its technology provider in the UK market, Spire recognised many reasons for needing a new solution. Patient data was often duplicated with no auditable trail, the system was difficult to operate and maintain, and expensive to configure and support. Employees were spending  valuable time that could be used for patient care on manual reconciliation of data.

Through updating both its financial and patient administration systems, Spire would be able to streamline its operations. Spire’s objectives were to improve patient and management information, reduce supply chain costs, and streamline administrative and financial processes in all of its hospitals. All of this and more was achieved through implementing SAP solutions. Spire now has an integrated solution that provides people throughout the organisation with a single source of the truth.

“For us, it’s more than just treating patients; it’s about looking after people”

Stephen Hayward

Project Director, Spire Healthcare

“We needed our hospital staff to be focused on patient care, not the laborious manual entry and analysis of data.”

Stephen Hayward, Project Director

Project Director, Spire Healthcare

Streamlined operations with integrated end-to-end healthcare solution

The huge potential for improved finance, supply chain, and materials management processes through the use of SAP solutions was very attractive to Spire, as was improved management reporting and business information with SAP BusinessObjects. Spire was impressed with the high level of integration between the different SAP modules and with third party applications as well as the short implementation timescales. With over 600,000 duplicate records that needed to be merged as part of the project, the excellent data quality management capability in SAP was of great interest to Spire, as it would allow patient data to be kept clean.

Stephen Hayward, Project Director of the SAP implementation at Spire says, “Our legacy system had only rudimentary data management and reporting capabilities, and accurate data capture was poor because users could take numerous
shortcuts to avoid capturing information that was not readily available. Spire’s entire system was a patchwork of bolt on information applications which were not integrated, and did not provide consistent or reliable outcomes.”

“SAP software promised to help us manage our operations and financial performance but also take advantage of understanding our supplier and business partners’ demands,” says Stephen.

Successful pilot followed by a Big Bang go-live at 35 hospitals

Spire worked with Common Management Solutions (CMS), who are global specialists in healthcare industry technology implementations. CMS helped to produce a blueprint for the project that was divided into multiple work-streams: Finance Administration System (FAS), Patient Administration System (PAS), and In ventory Management & Extended Warehouse Management. CMS provided industry-relevant business knowledge, and technical and strategic best practices.

The system pilot at Spire Hartswood Hospital was followed a month later with a second pilot at a new Spire hospital in Brighton, the Montefiore. Comprehensive training was delivered to more than 300 ‘super users’ through online tutorials and end-to-end patient journey scenarios, which created mentors for the remaining 7,000 Spire employees. To minimise the change management challenge, Phase 1 of the implementation was restricted to replacing existing functionality from the legacy business systems. A staggering 8 million patient records were migrated across from Spire’s legacy system, after complex mapping and data preparation. 30 interfaces were created for internal and third party applications which all function as intended.

Performance testing was undertaken to ensure the systems were robust and the remaining 35 hospitals went live as per the ‘Big Bang’ plan in April 2013. Hayward comments, “We didn’t experience any significant business disruption during the go-live; normal service was maintained at all our hospitals.”

“Our previous system was ancient, cumbersome and unreliable. We chose SAP because we wanted accurate, reliable and sophisticated management information.”

Stephen Hayward

Project Director, Spire Healthcare

“CMS were like an extended part of our project team. They are dedicated, knowledgeable, supportive and professional. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to anyone.”

Stephen Hayward

Project Director, Spire Healthcare

Fast implementation and lower total cost of ownership

To remain competitive, Spire wanted to continue to deliver quality care, control rising costs, ensure patient safety, and increase efficiency and employee productivity.

SAP Patient Management for Healthcare provides the administrative processes for registering and maintaining patient information. Inpatient areas and outpatient clinics are optimised with support for co-ordination of appointments, waiting lists and
bed allocation. Containing details of all treatments, it provides the basis for accurate invoicing and payments. It supports processes from the ward to administration and from outpatient clinics to the operating room. The solutions are improving employee empowerment and streamlining workflows, maximising productivity and patient satisfaction.

SAP SRM will help Spire to reduce procurement costs and build more collaborative supplier relationships. SAP ERP Financials solution provides end-to-end support for complex healthcare organisations such as Spire. Spire gained agility, improved operational efficiency, and strengthened customer relationships. “We are already seeing fewer ‘re-dos’ of administration processes, more right first time billing, and fewer supplier invoice queries.”

Alan Bowers, Financial Controller, Spire. Spire chose SAP BusinessObjects to improve its business intelligence. Employees now have self-service access to the data insight they need to make faster, more informed decisions.

£250,000 a year saved through improved financial practices alone

Spire can now use insight and information from SAP solutions to control costs and maximize revenue. Spire can view ratings of consultants in terms of revenue, understand which GP practices frequently refer patients, and which consultants use more
expensive materials that reduce its profit.

Improved data capture processes have significantly reduced the problem of duplicate records, as new records can only be created after doing a patient search. Improvements to financial operations are predicted to save Spire in the region of £250,000 per year. Its own logistics chain is now fully automated, with all stakeholders and suppliers benefiting from increased transparency of information.

Spire has easy access to patient information, better bed management, an automated process for waiting list management, and improved management of surgery times and teams. Although difficult to quantify at this stage of the implementation, Spire has also witnessed some qualitative benefits including:

  • Improved customer service and satisfaction
  • Reduced number of errors in administration processes
  • Increased accuracy of billing and reduced number of supplier invoice queries
  • Better integration of other major business applications, e.g. RIS/PACS (X-ray picture archiving and reporting)

“Throughout what has been a hugely significant project for Spire, our technical teams have been very impressed with the level of support received f om SAP.”

Phil Peplow

Head of IT, Spire Healthcare

“The cost savings alone give us resources and flexibility to further streamline our operations.”

Stephen Hayward,

Project Director, Spire Healthcare

Significant annual savings and a mobile strategy

Working in c ollaboration with S AP, the he althcare solutions will become NHS-compliant allowing Spire to also better serve its NHS patients.

With accurate information about its requirements, Spire can now negotiate more effectively with its suppliers. Phase two includes SAP Extended Warehouse Management, which will create procurement savings of around £600,000 a year. The Board have identified future opportunities in the areas of mobile and electronic medical referrals with potential savings of around  450,000 per year. E-prescribing, online patient registration and appointment books are areas that will be examined by Spire Healthcare.

“With SAP we have a much better chance now of meeting the demands of the changing healthcare market”

Stephen Hayward

Project Director, Spire Healthcare

Do you need more information?

See SAP success story

You can download the presentation of the Spire Healthcare case in PDF

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