IU Health forms 16 clinical councils to boost care quality

Indianapolis-based Indiana University Health developed 16 physician-led clinical councils this year to help improve care quality and reduce costs.

The councils entail teams of six to 10 people, including clinicians, supply chain experts and information systems professionals. The councils, created for various clinical specialties, gather and analyze data to make decisions on drug formularies, medical order sets and some procedures.

IU Health has already seen some cost containment improvements since forming the councils. The health system said pharmacy costs have stayed flat this year after increasing 7 percent or more annually for the past few years. Overall, IU Health aims to save $10 million in 2018.

"This is the first year of the clinical councils in operation," Chris Weaver, MD, senior vice president of clinical effectiveness at IU Health, said in a statement emailed to Becker's. "They have driven physician engagement and leadership to make decisions at the specialist level. Overall it has gone well."

The 16-hospital, 30,000-employee health system plans to eventually roll out 25 total councils systemwide.

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